After years of designing other people’s dream homes, architect Mark Rios finally gets to build one for himself. Peek inside Celebrity Homes:
The house was just about ideal. A midcentury-modern gem sitting on a secluded acre in Bel Air, complete with a dazzling view of the Pacific Ocean . . . idyllic but for one small detail: It was slowly sinking. There was no hope for repair, so architect Mark Rios and his husband, fertility doctor Guy Ringler, decided to tear down the house they’d lived in for 15 years and start anew.
For the first time in his 30-year career, Rios, a founding partner of the architecture firm Rios Clementi Hale Studios, was building a home for himself. “Architects have a hard time designing for themselves,” he says with a laugh.
“I went through over 50 plans before we settled on one.” In seeking to create a tranquil haven away from the couple’s chaotic professional lives, Rios drew inspiration from the soothing aesthetics of Japanese design. “The library, in particular,” the architect notes, “was fashioned after a room in Kyoto, using heavy, dark timbers. And the spa resembles old ryokans I’ve visited in Japan.”
Like much of Rios’s work, the new 11,000-square-foot home is tightly edited, with a restrained palette and a carefully orchestrated repetition of materials. While the street front is composed of three white, windowless masses, on the back Rios utilized floor-to-ceiling glass pocket doors that open rooms to outdoor spaces and southwest views. (These expanses give a sense of airy openness to the two large rooms that occupy the first floor of the house.) Rios also built a rooftop party/screening room with a large terrace, “which makes it fun to entertain,” he says.
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