DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE
World-renowned American architect Richard Landry is the master of creating profoundly ingenious, luxurious residences at any scale.
Beach House, Malibu, California - Photography by Manolo Langis
Since founding Landry Design Group (LDG) in 1987, American architect Richard Landry has been involved in designing more than 500 homes across the world. His elite clientele ranges from Fortune 500 CEOs and high-profile celebrities and athletes - Tom Brady, Michael Bolton, Kenny G, and Rod Stewart, to name a few. While the star architect is best known for his palatial residences that celebrate soaring volumes and spare no cost – including a recently completed 230,000-square-foot estate in Asia – he believes that bigger isn’t always better when it comes to luxury homes.
“We approach every project with the desire to ‘wow’ our clients and create something special – and that can happen at any scale,” explains Landry. “For both small and large projects, you need to understand what program is appropriate, but the research and development process of the design remains similar.”
Take an award-winning modern guesthouse in Beverly Hills, for example. At 2,300-square-feet in size, the glass pavilion-style residence features a dynamic sculpture that projects boldly upward through the roof. The vibrant colors of the contemporary artwork contrast with the restrained material palette of the built form, creating a sense of drama that surpasses its modest size.
Asia Palace - Photography by Sargent Photography
A 6,000-square-foot beach house in Malibu, an artfilled sanctuary where the client’s privacy is ensured through ingeniously positioned geometric masses, is another one of LDG’s signature “jewel box” achievements. By capitalizing on the ocean views in this home—it is a far more modern expression of architecture than most of the residences on this coveted stretch of oceanfront—there is an illusion of expansive space despite the physical constraints of the site.
Perhaps the most well-known work is the 14,300-square-foot estate on five-acres, originally designed for seven-time Super Bowl champ, Tom Brady, his supermodel wife Gisele Bündchen, and their family which was purchased by rap mogul and Beats Electronics founder. The sprawling, family friendly, French château-inspired design features formal elements such as a classical mansard roof, copper finials, zinc cupolas, and enviable water features with a twist - a mix of a relaxed California vibe. “The clients were very keen on providing spaces to enjoy family time and wanting to take advantage of the Southern California climate, so spaces inside and out were designed for the family to interact more casually,” adds Landry.
Brady-Bündchen Residence, Los Angeles, California - Photography by Erhard Pfeiffer
Showing their remarkable versatility, LDG designed the hybrid 40,000-square-foot Mapleton Estate in Los Angeles, California, which combines the formality of a traditional Mediterranean estate with a contemporary aesthetic. “The scale and proportion of the architectural elements are what bring this estate to a human and relatable scale,” explains the architect. “The rooms are proportionate to the overall size of the house, but the detailing of each space—which includes materiality, millwork, furniture arrangements, and lighting—make the rooms feel more intimate and livable,’” adds Landry.
Mapleton Estate, Los Angeles, California - Courtesy of Landry Design Group
At the other end of the spectrum, LDG’s most prominent residential project is arguably one of the finest in the world. The 230,000-square-foot, Louis XIV-style château with interior decoration by Geoffrey Bradfield set on 30-acres of lushly landscaped lakeside grounds is one of the most extensive compounds in the world. Although the estate is massive, with more than three dozen bedrooms, Landry has succeeded in crafting intimate spaces that offer the opportunity for seclusion and meditation.
Contrasting Guest House, Beverly Hills, California - Photography by Manolo Langis
“Designing proper usable spaces with a natural flow is crucial to a successful design,” reveals Landry. “So, we spend a lot of time figuring out what our clients’ needs are and programming the spaces to work for them. The architectural style for your home should reflect who you are and what makes you comfortable—and that is achieved by designing proportionate rooms with quality detail, no matter the size or architectural style. The key is balance and allowing the eye to find things that intrigue and other places to rest.”
This acknowledgment of each client’s unique needs and desires is key to LDG’s work – and it’s this approach, rather than a single architectural expression, that engenders the practice’s versatile signature. As a result, LDG’s portfolio ranges from “modern” to “classic.” The boldly expressive modern residences feature soaring planes of glass and clean lines, while the more traditional estates re-imagine everything from Tuscan villas to French châteaus for contemporary life. Landry understands that opulence can take many forms, likening these dichotomous expressions to a refined “jewel box” or a grand “treasure chest.”