Beautifully simple and exuding a Zen-like calm, this home is a compelling space even before you find out it’s home to Hollywood star Brad Pitt. The fact that he also had a hand in creating it merely adds to the appeal.
For a few years now, there’s been talk about Brad’s passion for architecture; his plan to take a break from film to study under world-class architect Frank Gehry, and their possible collaboration on a controversial seafront redevelopment in Brighton. When interviewed, he fizzes with enthusiasm for the subject, as he explained to US chat show host Oprah Winfrey: ‘I love that architecture is this huge art piece you can be inside. I believe it lifts your soul and affects your mindset.’
Back in Los Angeles, he worked with GRAFT, a trio of dynamic young architects, on his own home in the Hollywood Hills, a dramatic yet tranquil house, very much in the tradition of Californian desert modernism.
‘The aim was to create a clean, well-functioning and flexible space with a sense of generosity and a harmonious atmosphere,’says Lars Krückerberg, practice principal at GRAFT. The team used mica stone for all of the walls, floors and ceilings, because it has a unique way of brightening and mellowing as the light changes throughout the day. To introduce contrast, this was mixed with areas of local pine flooring, inside and out, selected for its open and flamboyant grain.
Set into many of the walls are hidden-away shelves and cupboards, designed to keep each room clean and fuss-free: ‘We call them service walls or Swiss army knives,’ says Lars. As for the furniture, that was purely Brad’s domain. ‘We didn’t need to lift a finger,’ Lars explains. ‘Brad is known for his extensive collection of modern designs. He could furnish a museum.’
As Brad explained in LA-based style magazine Flaunt, the creation of this home has helped him to discover the benefits of simplicity: ‘I learned that you have to let go of a lot of great ideas for the sake of harmony.’ graftlab.com
WHY WE LOVE IT...
Readers of ELLE Decoration’s July 2006 issue, might have been surprised to see Brad Pitt’s name emblazoned on the magazine’s spine, but also impressed when they saw the pictures of this peaceful, light-filled Los Angeles abode. It’s enduring design was heavily influenced by the ideas of its actor owner, as well as the work of iconic architects, from Mies van der Rohe to Frank Lloyd Wright and Brad’s hero, Frank Gehry.