Celebrity Confidential - Design Bureau

↑ Stone Canyon

↑ Bonsall West

↑ Encinal House

Celebrity Confidential

Monday, August 8th, 2011

by Murrye Bernard
Photos by Simon Berlyn

It takes a lot to hold architect Robbin Hayne’s interest. “I get bored pretty easily,” admits the principal and founder of Hayne Architects. Fortunately, Hayne has amassed a unique portfolio that keeps him engaged, including a celebrity clientele befitting of his California-based practice. But don’t even try to get him to sell out his client list—he’ll never tell. “In this day and age of obsession with celebrities, it has become all that more important to protect the privacy of their domestic life from public scrutiny,” he says. “This should be a basic right for anyone, whether they are a celebrity or not.”  

Part of the reason Hayne’s celebrity clients may seek him out is that his firm is full-service. He and his team design every aspect of a project, from the interior to landscaping, and in some cases, they build and stage speculative homes. “I’m picky when it comes to taking on clients because residential work tends to be very personal. I appreciate clients who enjoy the process,” he adds. Through this approach, he has cultivated a loyal clientele that values its privacy, but also appreciates a daring architectural approach that affords dramatic views. 

“I’m picky when it comes to taking on clients because residential work tends to be very personal. I appreciate clients who enjoy the process.”

 Stone Canyon

An actress and long-standing client of Hayne purchased a 3,000-square-foot home tucked away in Bel Air’s Stone Canyon and tasked Hayne Architects with expanding it into a 12,000-square-foot complex, complete with an art studio, guest house, and amphitheater. “The question became ‘How do we keep the cottage feel?’,” Hayne says. His approach involved integrating the new structures within the lush landscape. He captured water flowing through the site and created a small lake, over which he positioned a modern art studio clad in corrugated metal walls, finished to look old and rusted. 

Similarly, the main home’s interior spaces exude a patina well beyond their years. The actress purchased reclaimed materials and shipped them from her native state of Mississippi. Hayne collaborated with southern interior designer Ann Carter, and together, they incorporated the antique doors, salvaged pine flooring and beams, along with locally procured stone, in order to create a rustic and inviting interior reflecting a canyon retreat. 

Bonsall West

The process of obtaining a permit to build on the bluffs along the Pacific Coast Highway can take up to two years, not to mention that there are few empty lots available. Therefore, most of Hayne’s work in the area involves extensive remodels to existing structures. “Successful remodels begin with a house with good bones,” Hayne says. He saw potential in an “old-style modern” brick home with a simple shed roof, and resolved to develop it as a spec house. Bonsall West was originally built by a brother and sister, so it lacked a designated master bedroom. Hayne made it more marketable by adding a master suite, as well a chef’s kitchen and landscaped gardens accentuated by a trellis and swimming pool. He inserted large sliding-glass doors along the home’s perimeter to open the interior to views of the gardens and ocean. Hayne Architects staged the Bonsall West home for sale, and it was eventually purchased by a well-known actor. 

Encinal House

Another renovation by Hayne Architects along the PCH is the Encinal House. The 1960s-era home was originally a kennel and part of the Disney family’s residential complex. The concrete structure features a distinct double-T slab roof. Hayne transformed the shell into a luxurious modern residence, adding a wing to create a V-shape that wraps a landscaped courtyard. He installed a rolling glass garage door to further draw the outdoors into the home, and the view of the ocean is reflected in its dark-stained bamboo floors. Hayne also maximized views by designing a new deck that features a glass railing with a base-mounted connection system.

Since the home is positioned precariously on a bluff, Hayne consulted Scott Walters, principal engineer at Geo Concepts, Inc., to update the existing structure to meet modern safety codes. “Robbin considers the site characteristics in his design and comes up with the best design to fit the specific situation,” says Walters, who has worked with Hayne for 20 years. And typical of a Hayne project, the Encinal House was sold to a famous actor. The star appreciated the privacy offered by the estate, as well as its mid-century-modern aesthetic. The only change he made? Covering the custom glass shower roof to prevent paparazzo from spying via helicopter.

Tagged with: