Take a Tour of Architect Paul McClean’s new Book

And you’ll see why his hilltop homes—from the Bird Streets to British Columbia—are causing such a stir.

We never tire of celebrating the Los Angeles design community, and this week we’re delighted to bring you a closer look at Paul McClean’s new book, McClean Design: Creating the Contemporary House. Written by Philip Jodidio, Editor-in-Chief of the French art monthly magazine Connaissance des Arts from 1980 to 2002 and author of over 90 books about contemporary art and architecture, the book also features contributions by Paul and a foreword by Valerie Mulvin and Niall McCullough of McCullough Mulvin Architects in Dublin, Ireland. 

An interior courtyard view of the Carla Ridge home that features on the cover of the book.

Paul, who grew up in Ireland, studied architecture a the Dublin Institute of Technology, and after graduating with honors, went to work for several award-winning practices in London, Dublin, and Sydney. Lucky for us, he set his sights on California and after working with Laguna Beach’s Horst Architects he established his own eponymous Orange County-based firm in 2000. “Southern California was the place you went to be contemporary and experimental,” he recently told Modern Luxury magazine, “and the weather is so perfect.” Known for designing captivating, breathlessly modern homes (like this Bel-Air mansion created with Nile Niami that recently featured in the Los Angeles Times—Snyder Diamond is proud to have contributed to this project), we think this new book is a must-have for anyone interested in luxury design. 


"Despite its three levels, this is a very horizontal house, wrapped in a water and layered planting to screen it from surrounding properties and keep the focus on the garden and view," says the architect of a home he designed in Bel Air

The upper levels of the home appear to float above the water feature and stone rotunda wall.

The house is seen mirrored in the large pool, with its ground- level spaces fully open to the exterior.

The book explores the past fifteen years of the architect’s work, including his first Hollywood Hills project (in the Bird Streets, no less) to houses that have attracted high-profile figures like Calvin Klein and Beyoncé and Jay Z. The hallmarks of his designs include water elements and great lengths of glass walls that tie the homes to their spectacular settings. With twenty-four projects explored in its pages, the book also offers additional insight with the inclusion of sketches and site plans, as well as Paul’s thoughts on each of the designs.

A Laguna Beach home designed by the architect.

The home’s interior is a comfortable place from which to enjoy the water views. “The palette for this house is based on the owners’ concept of stormy skies, the ever-changing skyscape of the ocean below that continues to fascinate them,” says McClean.

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