by Jesse Stirling
A First Look at Mohamed Hadid’s newest masterpiece
From the start, Beverly Hills Lifestyle chronicled “Building a Dream” with design visionary Mohamed Hadid. Perhaps you’ve seen Mohamed on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, or maybe you’ve been lucky enough to experience one of his magical, architectural creations. Now that his masterpiece is complete, the maestro of marble and wood sits down for a chat about smart houses, legendary closets, and the importance of self-contained cocoons.
How would you describe the house?
The size, the high ceilings, the grand door entrances, the idea always is: how can you have a huge space and make it homey? How can you entertain? This is the style I like. Just a guy with a wife or girlfriend can live here in comfort, without the feeling you are in a hotel lobby. And lots of translucent light, picked up inside and out, real colors.
Are you happy with how the project turned out?
I’ve built hotels. I’ve built homes. I’ve built palaces. I’ve built a lot of things. This one feels like the most incredible building I’ve ever created because it has all the elements from the past, today and the future. You can live in this house for the next twenty years, in a feeling of solidness. This house is very special because it embodies all the ideas that I want to have in a futuristic home, but still has a solid, complex old style, with modern ingredients. The house itself is a lifestyle.
The entertainment areas including the ultra modern kitchen, interior swimming pool, 50-seat theater, wine cellar, ballroom, and garages.
A city environment. Everything you need is in your space. Right across the street from Beverly Hills Hotel. If you really need room service, there you go. (Laughter). You have all the conveniences of this wonderful hotel. In my opinion, it’s the best location in the world today, on iconic Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills.
Other people’s impressions?
Anyone who visits the house feels like it has been there for a long time, 100-year-old elegant house somehow magically modernized. A friend of mine Tom Barrack stopped by yesterday and sent me a really inspiring note because it’s from someone I respect in the industry. People don’t give compliments these days. Compliments are free, why not give them? It’s nice to hear third party validation; it made me feel good about the project.
Biggest challenge building the house:
The biggest frustration was the constraint of the space – a large home on a smaller piece of property. The space gives you that compound feel – when you are in the house, this is your world. You don’t need any bigger space… a self-contained cocoon.
What are you most proud of with the build?
The style of the house, the interiors- can’t make them too modern or too abstract – just enough balance to marry all the materials together.
Most important elements?
Most important for me is the master suite, that’s where people start their day and end their day. The closets and bathrooms of the master area have to be spectacular. After a good day at work or a bad day at work, you end up in the master suite. When the kids leave and you are empty nesting it’s where you spend your time.
I don’t build for a specific type person or individual client. I build them for me.
It’s nearly impossible to buy furniture for a place like this. With this scale, you have to do everything yourself. Create the size and the feeling of the place. I paint everything here, I design all the furniture, everything is created to fit this home and enhance the environment. It’s a complicated way – doing everything from start to finish- but it’s the only way I know.
The best wood, the best flooring, the best marble and onyx, these are materials that look good anywhere. The challenge is putting them together and making that palette on the canvas, your piece of art. Once you start building, you look at every room differently and understand the light. You must see it in person. Build first then design after. See the light, and then handcraft art and furniture.
The house is a “smart house.” Everything can be operated from your iPhone or touch screen- turn on all systems remotely, air conditioning, heating, fireplaces, and music.
How do you go about listing a house like this?
This is marketed to a specific audience. Not for the masses, only a handful of people fit the profile. I don’t have competition in this market. I don’t sell homes, I sell lifestyle. If they like my lifestyle, then they like this house.
Mohamed’s work style:
I see the space first. I don’t do elevations. Everything is in my head and created new on a daily basis. We worked for 15 months to make this dream come true. When it’s all in your head, you can start building and not have to worry about owners, husbands, and wives. Whatever you decide, you are the law. Not compromising a creative vision: everything is quality. We don’t compromise, we don’t undercut, we don’t cut corners, everything has to be the best.
Every project is special to me, like a piece of art; always nice to see somebody else enjoying it. As my father said, “the only way to experience true joy is to share your joy with somebody else.” So to me this is another joy that I can share with others.
Real estate advice:
When you are buying a piece of property, buy for location, even if you pay a little extra for it. In the end, if you buy a cheap piece of property in an inferior location, you will end up suffering because you can never get rid of it. People will always look for location and quality. Better to build a little bit smaller and put more money into the build, instead of being bigger and skimping on quality.
Most important thing in life?
Kids and family members. That’s what I live for. Just enjoy life day by day.
Do you rest?
No rest. My rest will be my next project, a very modern style home, extremely different and abstract, different than anything I have done. And 10 homes in a gated community.
What is your state of mind?
I love what I’m doing. When I wake up in the morning, I say, “God bless that I was put into this place.”
“If you can conceive it, you can achieve it.”