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Tour The Homes Designed By Hollywood’s Newest A-List Architect

From designing the homes of Jay-Z and Beyoncé to Calvin Klein and the Winklevoss twins, Irish architect Paul McClean has made his mark on L.A. real estate


Very few people can count Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Calvin Klein, and the Winklevoss twins as fans. One man who can is architect Paul McClean. The Iris architect founded his firm, McClean Design, in 2000, and over the past 19 years, he has made his mark on Los Angeles real estate, creating homes that redefined luxury living. (No small feat in a town where excess is practically a prerequisite for any project.) His breakthrough project was a 2005 home on Blue Jay Way in the Birds Streets section of the Hollywood Hills. The home brought more commissions in Los Angeles, and in that neighborhood in particular—a favorite of celebrities and executives thanks to its views and privacy. McClean and his firm take inspiration from the landscape in their clean-lined, open designs and are known for their ability to tackle difficult sites. The projects are also known for their often record-breaking price tags. (A house he renovated in San Francisco, was at one time the most expensive house in the city, with an asking price of $28 million, and a home purchased by Jay-Z and Beyoncé for $88 million was on the market for $135 million.) In the new book McClean Design: Creating the Contemporary Home (Rizzoli, $75), McClean and author Philip Jodidio go inside 21 of these spectacular residences and offer a glimpse at the new standard of high-end real estate in L.A. Read on for a sneak peek at some of the over-the-top homes featured in the book.

Photo: Simon Berlyn

An L-shaped infinity pool hugs the contours of the hillside site of this home on Robin Drive. McClean devised the home as a glass pavilion that would open to the pool on one side and an entry water garden on the other. The house is currently on the market for $52 million.

Photo: Jim Bartsch

McClean designed this mega-mansion in Bel Air for McKillen Developments, a property developer and frequent McClean collaborator. The home features terraced gardens and 30,000 square feet of living space. It was sold off-market to Jay-Z and Beyoncé for $88 million in 2017.

Photo: Simon Berlyn

Water features are a frequent motif in McClean’s designs. The architect completed this house on Blue Jay Way in 2008 and renovated it in 2016 for its new owner, the late DJ Avicii.

Photo: Jim Bartsch

This home in the Bird Streets neighborhood, completed in 2014, features a striking entry bridge that passes over a water courtyard below. McClean recently remodeled the home for current owner Calvin Klein.

Photo: Simon Berlyn

Every room on the main level of this home in Bel Air has access to a terrace and an exceptional view. While the home boasts 30,000 square feet of living space, McClean was determined to keep a casual feel by paying close attention to the scale of the rooms.

Photo: Jim Bartsch

McClean completed this home on bustling San Vicente Boulevard in Brentwood in 2013. The architect used a curved glass wall to shield the property from the street and installed a waterfall feature to help with noise reduction.

Photo: Jim Bartsch

A continuous skylight extends through this Hollywood Hills home, running from the entry area to the master suite. Completed in 2016, the house features a gym and wellness area, as well as a theater and a cigar lounge.

Photo: Jim Bartsch

Built on a 6,468-square-foot lot, this home in Laguna Beach is the smallest house featured in the book. McClean used black or light-gray-hued materials to highlight the owner’s colorful art collection.

Photo: Jim Bartsch

A 2014 home in the Trousdale Estates area of Beverly Hills graces the cover of the book.

Previously published in Architectural Digest.