A Hollywood Hills complex perched atop a select lot on the city’s coveted “bird streets” has quietly gone on the market for $48 million. The home, which has five bedrooms and eight bathrooms and spans nearly 16,000 square feet, is one of the rare private homes designed by Seattle-based architectural titans Olson Kundig. “The owner commissioned the firm to create this home, which was their first residential property in Los Angeles,” explains Rainey Williams of Williams & Williams at The Beverly Hills Estates, who is listing the estate with her husband, Brandon Williams. “The owner wanted a unique architect who really connected with the property—a property that could literally be seen from across the city.”
The home was designed and built for Kip Nelson, avid athlete, partner and president of Long Arc Capital, former partner and trustee of Goldman Sachs and US Ski & Snowboard. He is also a film producer (with credits including the Tom Hanks film Sully) and, most convincingly, competed in Formula 3 in 1990, a lower level of pro-car racing leading up to Formula 1. Unsurprisingly, Nelson’s Los Angeles home is an architectural love letter to cars and car racing. Nelson bought the property in 2014 and spent the following years creating his dream home, which was completed in 2018.
“For a home in this location, the permitting process, which is all about engineering, can be very long,” Brandon Williams said of the design and construction time. “The attention to detail and custom fixtures added to the home were extremely important to the owner. Also, the ‘gadgets and gadgets,’ as Tom Kundig calls them, were handmade.”
Perched on a promontory literally overlooking West Hollywood, the home includes not only a massive garage — which Williams says can “easily hold 15 cars” — but also its own Formula 1 simulator, which allows “drivers” to race against humans like Lewis Hamilton. “The garage is completely out of this world,” says Rainey Williams. “The owner was inspired after seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey.Along with the massive garage and racing simulator, the home includes an elaborate model of a racetrack dubbed by the owner as Kippway.
Olson Kundig, who recently expanded their practice to include a New York studio, have established themselves as the leading talent for ambitious commercial and landmark-making cultural buildings, including the new Bob Dylan Center in Tulsa, Okla., and the LeBron James Center for Innovation in Nike’s world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. Although obviously more modest in size, Nelson’s home offers an equally dazzling array of aesthetic elements—it includes many interior design elements (such as lighting in the dining room) designed by the architects themselves.
At its core, the home consists of a series of “locking boxes” that snap together almost Jenga-like to create living spaces over a total of three floors. Everything is covered in a facade of glass, steel and concrete on the outside, with wooden floors and ceilings inside to add contrasting organic touches. This being Los Angeles, the views from the home are stunning and cinematic, from the San Gabriel Mountains on one side to the Pacific Ocean on the other.
Along with the views, there are key Los Angeles must-haves, including a pair of swimming pools, a fire pit and rooftop terrace, a large open-plan kitchen and a massive gym, accessed from the master suite via a bejeweled connecting bridge. In the dining room, the central kitchen table is on wheels to be easily moved outside for outdoor events, while walls and windows throughout the property can be easily moved to reconfigure the rooms themselves. Perhaps most eye-catching of all are the home’s gardens, which include a grove of mature olive trees reminiscent of the southern Mediterranean.
“The trees were imported and planted to frame the city views seen from the home,” explains Rainey Williams. Olive Grove also includes its own miniature “exercise track” for running or hiking, “which is extremely rare and unheard of” in downtown Los Angeles, Brendan Williams adds. “The owner raised all these olive trees to create the runway, which was no easy feat.”
This isn’t the first time Nelson has tried to sell the home; in 2020, he put it on the market for an ambitious—and apparently overambitious—$62 million. Now with new prices, Nelson hopes to take advantage of Los Angeles’ red-hot luxury real estate market, which saw prices jump 13.2 percent to record highs late last year, according to brokerage giant Douglas Elliman. Both Williams say the home will obviously appeal to a buyer who appreciates not only its automotive-inspired offshoots, but Olson Kundig’s one-of-a-kind design. As Branden Williams says, “this home is designed for someone who loves architecture, amazing views, and wants to be in the best part of town.”
See more photos of automotive fantasy home below: