Mid-Century Modern Masterpiece | Luxury Home in Laguna Beach | ICONIC LIFE

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Mid-Century Modern Masterpiece | Luxury Home in Laguna Beach

Architect: Horst Noppenberger

Builder: Corbin Reeves Construction

Interior Design: Horst Architects

Photography: Brett Hillyard

Landscape: Horst Architects

Brett Hillyard

This nature centric and luxury home in Laguna beach is truly one to be remembered for Architect Horst Noppenberger.

Situated atop the hill of Mar Vista Avenue, Horst Noppenberger, founder of Horst Architects created a  contemporary home that soaks in the sapphire waters of the Laguna Beach coast. The sliding floor to ceiling glass doors that line the back of the house welcome the outside world by presenting a panoramic view of the terrain below. The medley of stucco, steel and exposed concrete work harmoniously to create a modern home with accents of mahogany planks, adding a rustic component; all beautifully amalgamated together to form a mid-century modern silhouette.

The 3,000 sq. ft. 4 bedroom 4 bathroom home was excellently crafted by Horst Noppenberger with Horst Architects and built by Corbin Reeves Construction. It took about 8 years to complete due to the high level of community involvement and the historic location. This luxury Laguna Beach home holds a special place in the heart of Noppenberger as he is building in the neighborhood of which he used to reside. The home is located in a neighborhood surrounded by beach cottages built in the 1940s and 50s. In order to preserve the local feel of the community, Noppenberger worked not only in accordance with the city, but with the community and former neighbors as well.

“When we build something in Laguna Beach, we have to go through a very arduous review process. We have to meet with the neighbors and share our plans with them and find ways of addressing any concerns they have,” Noppenberger explains. “ Almost all of the houses on the hill below the site are tiny beach cottages.We had a lot of people concerned that our project was scaled inappropriately with the scale of the neighborhood. We did make a lot of concessions along the way. It was one of those projects where we were in design review for about 4 years, going back and forth between design review meetings and getting approval from the city council and the neighbors.”

The exterior creates a linear eye pathway that enhances the natural terrain of the land, with the steel roof creating a gradual “stair-like pattern” that mimics the natural typography. Horst Architect’s  design tactic of drawing the eye in a desired direction is utilized throughout the home, the floating white slabs that staircase above smooth gray pebble stones lead to the grand mahogany custom pivot door and entices you to enter into the grand foyer.


“I always want entries to have a strong sense of arrival,” Noppenberger says. “The entry has a strong concrete wall that projects horizontally out to the street. That concrete wall creates a gesture of invitation, it brings you into the house… We use the dining table as a linear device that draws your eye to the ocean.”

Integration of nature is a key aspect of the luxury Laguna Beach home. Blurring the line between the indoors and out was a goal of Noppenberger for this project. He accomplished this by using the same materials of the exterior and continued it into the interior. The white marble countertops and backsplash travels from the kitchen to the outdoor grilling area to create a seamless transition between the patio and kitchen. Noppenberger also features the light gray concrete on both the outside– making up the walls of the house–and the inside to create a feeling of continuity. 

The interior of the home is dominated by a lighter color palette to promote openness and light. The oak floors complement the white and exposed concrete walls while contrasting with the darker finishes of the kitchen cabinetry and black window framing to give it a modern and sleek, yet warm feeling. The main level of the home consists of the grand foyer, kitchen that opens onto the outdoor terrace, two secondary bedrooms and an office, all with private bathrooms.

Horst Architects also handled the interior furnishings. Pieces that are evocative of the ocean can be found in various parts of the home. The sandy white sectional and blue velvet throw pillows reflect the terrain of the nearby beach, once again drawing the scenery from the natural world into the home. Other elements such as the white marble countertops located in the kitchen and bathrooms were chosen because the patterns within the marble resemble a sea foam texture.


 Horst Architects designed the main bedroom to have a color palette that exudes silence and relaxation. The pantone duvet and linen throw pillows emanate a serene energy into the room, the windows are not floor to ceiling, which adds an element of intimacy. The primary bedroom is separated from the grand foyer by the fortified concrete wall. Juxtaposed by the open and welcoming main room and kitchen that occupy the downstairs, the main bedroom allows for a change of pace and feeling as you walk up the floating oak staircase and enter into a more sacred space.

“Sometimes we need the house to feel expansive and open to the outside, bringing in our family and friends, but other times we retreat into an intimate, contemplative, and meditative space. I tried to create this house to reflect that duality and spirit,” Noppenberger says.

Gregory Hawkins, Corbin Reeves Construction’s project manager for the property summarizes the home in a few short words,

“It’s truly one of a kind.”

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