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1859 Bel Air

Case study
1859 Bel Air
Los Angeles, California, Stati Uniti
Tag Front
Balakhani Estates
Interior design
César Giraldo and Tag Front

„1859 Bel Air Road“ ist eine Villa in einer der begehrtesten Gegenden von Los Angeles. Sie wurde vom Architekturbüro Tag Front in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Innenarchitekten César Giraldo entworfen und verbindet Skulpturen, Architektur und Landschaft. Das Ergebnis ist eine beeindruckende visuelle Wirkung.



Sie wurde auf einem Hügel mit Blick auf die Canyons von Bel Air auf einem Grundstück erbaut, das einst Marilyn Monroe gehörte. „1859 Bel Air Road“ ist eine prächtige Villa, die in vielerlei Hinsicht einzigartig ist. Vom Anwesen, dem einzigen mit drei Ebenen in Bel Air, reicht der Blick bis zum Meer und zur Insel Catalina.

Der Erbauer Shahram Sean Balakhani hat sieben Jahre gebraucht, um das Projekt zu vervollständigen, das vom Architekturbüro Tag Front realisiert wurde. Die Villa vereint Funktionalität und Ästhetik in perfekter Balance und der Innen- und Außenbereich fängt die Einflüsse des angesagtesten Lifestyle in Los Angeles ein.


Der Innenarchitekt César Giraldo hat sich um das Interior Design gekümmert, wobei Poliform die erste Wahl für die Einrichtung war. Die eleganten und bis ins Detail gestalteten Räume – der Designer hat sich auch um die Auswahl der Kunstwerke und einen persönlichen Duft gekümmert – verwandeln die Villa in ein authentisches privates Refugium.

Tag Front

Founded in 1989 by Mehdi and Mandi Rafaty, Tag Front is an award-winning architectural and design team setting out to create modern spaces that are inviting and relevant. The firm has grown into a leading architectural and interior design firm in Southern California. Since its inception, Tag Front has been consistently published and lauded by the industry and the public for its creative and cutting-edge work. Publications such as Dwell, Interior Design Magazine, Wallpaper, Surface, and many others have featured work from the firm.

1859 Bel Air Road is a superb mansion situated in one of the most sought-after areas of Los Angeles, on a lot that once was home to Marilyn Monroe. The developer of this modern masterpiece is Shahram Sean Balakhani. An innovative and visionary leader in the property development industry, with a unique passion for crafting homes that blend minimalism and artistic expression, Balakhani has dedicated the past fourteen years of his career to perfecting the art of “utopian architecture”. With an unwavering commitment to creating luxurious homes that exude comfort, elegance, and a personal touch, Balakhani has become renowned for delivering properties that are truly one of a kind. The house is designed by Tag Front, an award-winning architectural and design team founded in 1989 by Mehdi and Mandi Rafaty, setting out to create modern spaces that are inviting and relevant. The firm has grown into a leading architectural and interior design firm in Southern California. Since its inception, Tag Front has been consistently published and lauded by the industry and the public for its creative and cutting-edge work. Publications such as Dwell, Interior Design Magazine, Wallpaper, Surface, and many others have featured work from the firm. For this outstanding project, Tag Front partnered with César Giraldo, a world-renowned interior designer that was named one of the Top 25 designers in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Times. His projects, both residential and commercial, always create a dialogue between luxurious contemporary designs and the timeless craftsmanship of the past.

It took the developer seven years to complete the mansion, one of the most premium three-storey estates in Bel Air, a first and last of its kind. Balakhani wanted to stretch the envelope on design and luxury, maximizing views of the landscape, creating a sense of indoor-outdoor living and building a striking facade that ensured privacy from a 350 ft-long street exposure. 

The linear rain-screen facade creates a sculptural and visually compelling pattern along the street. This was achieved by a series of flat and folded metal panels that clad the street-facing concrete wall. The folded panels creates a random sculptural pattern that becomes denser closer to the main entrance, which passively guides guests towards the front door. Above the facade, an array of curved steel beams support a continuous skylight, providing ample natural light to the upper level of the house. 

The entry gate features a water element that leads to a large pivoting steel and wood front door. Upon entering the house, visitors are greeted by an open floor plan that connects all levels of the home. A curving suspended grand entry stair descends to the main, more public level, which includes the living, dining, family, Poliform kitchen/scullery featuring the Phoenix system with elm wood veneer, shaker modular backs, a bronze metallic lacquer island, and gallery spaces. The indoor-outdoor dynamic is fully expressed in all the rooms on the main level, where massive sliding glass pocket doors connect the kitchen, dining, and living areas to a floating pool and expansive outdoor deck areas with stunning views of the canyon and the ocean. On the upper level, past the curving steel staircase are the bedroom suites and the more private master suite at the far end of the house. The lower level of the house features the theater, extensive wellness spa area, gym, gallery space, and additional bedroom suites. This level opens to the large backyard, bar, entertainment area, and direct access to the pool above. 

The interiors of 1859 Bel Air Road reflect the synergy born out of the collaboration between Tag Front and César Giraldo Design. In every project undertaken by Tag Front, the interior design is thoughtfully conceived as an extension of the architecture, creating a cohesive and unified experience. The distinctive architectural style of the exterior serves as a guiding principle, influencing the interior design choices in terms of color schemes, textures, finishes, and spatial arrangements. By carefully considering the external context, Tag Front ensures a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor environments, maintaining a sense of harmony throughout the design narrative. This comprehensive approach not only allows the interior spaces to complement the architectural design, but also enhances the overall user experience. Tag Front’s expert use of materials like stone, wood, and metal creates a perfect fusion with Poliform’s kitchen and closet solutions, allowing for a seamless integration that further elevates the overall aesthetic and functionality of the space. 

The interior decoration was guided by Balakhani’s passion for art and luxury design. César Giraldo curated a selection of luxury brands, with Poliform as a prominent choice for furniture, and the results are evidenced in the stories the spaces tell. They speak of a worldly, sophisticated person who inhabits a home as a king does his castle, with pride. Poliform made a significant overall contribution to the project by providing the best in luxury, quality, and functionality. As one of the main brands selected, Poliform’s furniture played a vital role in shaping the aesthetic and enhancing the functionality of the space. Exquisite craftsmanship, attention to detail, and high-end materials added a touch of elegance and sophistication to each room.

A collection of rugs called Straight Lines Unexpected Curves and a unique lighting collection were designed specifically for this project, as well as a custom olfactory journey created in collaboration with Parisian fragrance brand Ex Nihilo. This partnership between design and fragrance has kindled a personalized sensory ambiance, by elevating the atmosphere and transforming the house into a home. 

Integrated into the design is the work of international artists, such as Pierre Bonnefille. Each element was carefully chosen to reflect the homeowner’s refined taste and create an atmosphere of worldly sophistication. Noteworthy among these artistic collaborations is also the exquisite painting titled Dancing Flower, a meaningful and one-of-a-kind piece. Created through a collaboration between Colombian artist Angelica Kastillo and a young Colombian girl named Evelyn, this artwork graces the breakfast nook. Vibrant and captivating, it features a gorgeous navy-blue flower against an orange background, symbolizing resilience, and survival amidst challenging circumstances. Proceeds of the painting will go to The Espiritu Santo Project Foundation that César Giraldo founded in Colombia to transform the lives of at-risk youth by providing opportunities through art programs and education that break the cycle of drugs and violence. 

Ultimately, 1859 Bel Air Road has been conceived to create a harmonious balance between functionality and aesthetics, allowing the residents to fully enjoy their private time and find solace within the sanctuary of their home. 


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