Architecture in Beverly Hills: Inspirations and how to turn your luxury home into a marvel

Beverly Hills Aerial View

It’s no secret that Beverly Hills is home to some of California’s most architecturally beautiful homes and buildings. A drive around its streets will reveal many eye-catching buildings and residences designed by some of the most distinguished architects, such as Gordon Kaufmann, Richard Neutra, and Craig Ellwood.

It is understandable if one wants to turn their Beverly Hills home into a notable property. Continue reading to gather inspiration from some of the city’s most iconic homes and learn about the best architectural firms here at the moment.


Over the decades, Beverly Hills has collected an abundance of iconic homes and estates, some of which have been turned into important landmarks that tell a piece of Beverly Hills’ history. Perhaps these properties will inspire you:

  1. The Greystone Mansion: One of the most ubiquitous structures in Beverly Hills, the Greystone Mansion– also known as the Doheny Estate– was designed for oil tycoon Edward Doheny by Gordon Kaufmann, and embodies classic, imposing grandeur. It sits on 16 acres of land and, at one point in history, was recognized as the most expensive home in the state. It was finished in 1928.

    Built in the Tudor Revival style, the Greystone Mansion is known primarily for its half-timbered facade, meticulously landscaped gardens, and sprawling interiors. In addition to being a popular tourist attraction, the Greystone Mansion has also graced numerous films and television shows, solidifying its place as a pop-culture landmark.

  2. The Jack Warner Estate: Located in the Beverly Hills neighborhood of Benedict Canyon, this Georgian Revival mansion was designed by Roland Coate for Jack Warner, the co-founder of the Warner Bros. film empire.

    One of the biggest properties in Beverly Hills, the estate spans eight acres and is home to multiple dwellings, including two guest houses and a massive 13,600-square-foot mansion. Continuing its legacy as a home for the elite, the Warner Estate was acquired in February 2020 by Jeff Bezos, with the Amazon founder paying $165 million for the iconic property.

  3. The Spadena House: Fanciful and utterly unique are two of the best things to describe the Spadena House, a Storybook-style property designed by Harry Oliver and built in 1921. It has undergone several restorations since 2006.

    A break from the traditional architectural styles of Beverly Hills, the Spadena House– also referred to as the Witch’s House– features lopsided roofs and distressed exterior paint to look like it has been dilapidated for ages. But this is part of its magic. Today, the Spadena House remains a private residence as well as a protected Beverly Hills landmark.

Read more about Beverly Hills’ legendary estates here, including Pickfair and the Owlwood Estate.


Designing a luxury home—especially in a place like Beverly Hills—can be quite a complicated affair. This is why you will need to work with an architect who not only understands your desires but also possesses the expertise to deliver a design that matches your needs, budget, and expectations.

Here are some essential tips on how to find the perfect architect for your modern-day Beverly Hills mansion:

  1. Ask around for recommendations. When choosing an architect, it’s always best if you can source an architect who comes recommended by people you know and trust. Because of this, try to ask family, friends, and neighbors if they recently worked with an architect and if they are likely to recommend that architect’s service to you.

    If that doesn’t work, try visiting the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Los Angeles chapter, as it offers a directory of architects with searchable filters by location, experience, and project type. Lastly, you can also try doing a localized Google search and scanning your neighborhood’s social media groups, both of which are effective ways to find an architect to work with.

  2. Shortlist at least three prospective architects for an interview. While it is not impossible to find a good architect within the first few days of looking, it is still best to cast a wide net and shortlist anywhere from three to five prospective architects for an interview.

    Once you have several prospective architects on your shortlist, you can proceed with the interviews. Some of the questions you can ask include the following:

    • How long have they been in business?
    • How are they when it comes to project management? Are they the hands-on type or do they simply supervise a team that does the work for them?
    • How much are their fees? What is their fee structure?
    • What are the types of homes their clients usually commission?
    • Do they have experience with luxury residences?

    In addition to these, you should also prepare questions that delve into their design philosophy, their experience with navigating Beverly Hills’ permitting process, and their approach to client collaboration.

    Finally, try asking your shortlisted architects if they can provide you with a list of their previous clients and projects that you can check out in your spare time. Take any reluctance to provide references as a red flag as it may indicate poor performance on their part.

    Beverly Hills Mansion

  3. Pick an architect you have a good rapport with. When interviewing prospective architects, take note of your gut feeling during the duration of the conversation. Are you comfortable in their presence? Do you feel like you can approach them about anything? Are they trying their best to establish a good connection? How is their listening skill, and how well do they communicate their ideas? Can you imagine having a productive working relationship with them?

    If you say no to any one of these, take it as a sign. You should be able to have a good and professional relationship with your architect– or the architectural firm you hire.

  4. Insist on hiring someone who’s based locally. When it comes to getting an architect, it is always best to choose someone who is based locally over someone who may be based out of state or overseas.

    This is because a local architect can design homes that suit the vernacular, particularly in Beverly Hills where factors like hillside construction and city ordinances come into play. Not only that, but an architect who is based locally is likely to have a network of high-end builders and craftsmen with whom they’ve worked on projects before.

    An added benefit is that local architects are much easier to contact in case of emergencies compared to those based overseas, which can spell the difference between a successful project and a failed one.

  5. Choose architects whose work and style mesh well with yours. When choosing an architect for your Beverly Hills mansion, try to get someone whose style meshes well with yours. After all, you would not want to get someone who specializes in ornate, Mediterranean-style residences when you have a zen, Mid-Century Modern property on your mind as your dream home.

    Take the time to assess a potential architect’s portfolio beforehand. Doing this will give you an indication not only of the caliber of work they produce, but also the styles they specialize in, the materials they commonly use, and the construction systems they are used to working with.


The tradition of creating iconic estates and mansions continues today, with many talented architects and highly rated firms based in Beverly Hills. One of these modern architects might be able to help you design your dream mansion.

  1. Gabbay Architects – Founded in 1987, Gabbay Architects is a beloved architectural firm that has cultivated a reputation for building timeless and enduring residential spaces. Led by Hamid Gabbay, this Beverly Hills-based firm is known for designing for both local and international clients, with their work featured prominently in elite publications such as W Magazine.
  2. Giorgio Dazzan & Associates – A multi-disciplinary design firm founded in 1984, Giorgio Dazzan & Associates has made a name for their innovative and effective design solutions in luxury real estate. One of the most sought-after firms in the area, Giorgio Dazzan & Associates has also since branched out to clients outside of Beverly Hills, with the firm known to have designed projects in places as far away as Poland.
  3. Paul Brant Williger – Another important Beverly Hills architectural firm, Paul Brant Williger is known for its focus on classic and traditional home styles. Despite being a relatively new addition to the Beverly Hills architectural landscape, Paul Brant Williger has proven himself to be quite a formidable design force, with the firm already notching features in publications like Luxe, California Homes, and California Home & Design.

    Paul has over 30 years of experience in custom residential architecture. Some of his best works are located in Beverly Hills, Laguna Beach, and Woodside. See his portfolio here if you can’t visit the properties he designed in person.

  4. PHX Architecture – Established in 2002, PHX Architecture specializes in luxury residential projects and lifestyle spaces like golf clubhouses, boutique hotels, and restaurants. Led by its founder and lead Architect, Erik B. Peterson, the firm and its projects have been consistently featured in publications like Luxe Interiors + Design, Phoenix Home & Garden Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Traditional Home, and Interiors Magazine Modern Luxury.

    View their residential projects in Los Angeles and Scottsdale here.

  5. Richard Best Architect – Richard Best Architect is a Los Angeles-based architectural firm that has long made its mark in Beverly Hills– since 1988– thanks to its dedication to injecting sustainability practices into each of its projects. At the helm is nationally registered and recognized architect, Richard Best.

    The firm and its eco-conscious projects have been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, LA Architect, and Architect Magazine. It has also been distinguished with the Green Building of America Award and IREO “Best Practices Award” in addition to several prestigious academic fellowships.

  6. William Hablinski Architecture – William Hablinski Architecture was founded in 1978 and has built its reputation for building beautiful buildings rooted in tradition and history. The firm draws inspiration everywhere, including the classic and vernacular architecture of European countries and the United States.

    As a testament to William Hablinski Architecture’s proficiency, many celebrities and high-profile individuals seek the firm’s services. Some of their previous clients include Jim Carrey, Jennifer Lopez, Tom Cruise, Warren Beatty, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not only that, but the firm’s works have also made their way to prominent journals like the Journal of the Institute of Classical Architecture, Builder Magazine, and Architectural Digest, further cementing their place in the industry.

Luxurious Modern Mansion


Here are some of the frequently asked questions regarding building a modern mansion in Beverly Hills:

  • What are the typical construction costs in Beverly Hills? Beverly Hills is known for its high-end real estate market, and construction costs reflect that. Because of this, you should prepare accordingly and expect costs to be significantly higher than national averages.
  • What permits are needed to build a house in California? A new house in Beverly Hills requires building, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical permits, as well as a grading permit, depending on the scope of work. In addition, your project may be subject to impact fees to cover the additional strain on city services such as schools and roads caused by the new construction.
  • What can I build on my property? Beverly Hills has various zones with specific building restrictions which can affect the type and number of structures you can construct on your property. To determine what type of structure your lot allows, give the city’s planning department a call.
  • Will I be allowed to use any architectural style or design for my home? This will depend on the neighborhood you are in, given that Beverly Hills enforces several location-specific design requirements that attempt to tailor new developments to the aesthetic and character of the neighborhood.


If you are looking to explore your options in Beverly Hills, don’t hesitate to give me, Joyce Rey, a call. As one of the top luxury Realtors in Southern California, I will be more than happy to show you around Beverly Hills so you can find the perfect property to add to your investment portfolio. Connect with me here or email me to explore exclusive listings and access expert insights to start crafting your real estate legacy today.

Joyce Rey
With Me
Whether it's buying your dream home or selling your current one, Joyce Rey is here to help.