Montecito is home to some of California’s most notable estates. Many feature views of the ocean or fall in the shadow of the mountains. A famed few offer both vantage points.
Smaller still is the pool that enjoy a fabled pedigree or an A+ address. Designed by the noted architect John Elgin Woolf, and in proximity to the world renowned San Ysidro Ranch resort, 1478 East Mountain Drive, known as Le Ciel (French for The Sky), embodies all of those coveted attributes.
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John Elgin Woolf’s “Hollywood Regency” homes are known for having a twist. His style comes together like a blended family of neo-classical French, Greek Revival, and Modernist architecture: a proclivity for glamour and a reverence for the evocative. To experience one of Woolf’s designs is to surround yourself in the physical arc of a compelling story. Perhaps that’s why for years Woolf was the darling of Hollywood’s elite, and built homes on the earth for those who played among the stars. Woolf was commissioned by Cary Grant, Errol Flynn, Judy Garland, Bob Hope, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, to name a few, to create one of his signature homes. While Hollywood was Woolf’s professional playground, Montecito was his beloved hometown. Here, some of the finest examples of Woof’s work adorn the hillside, and elevate the allure of an already impossibly beautiful seaside village.
the x factor
The ingenious, single-level floor plan of Le Ciel, which appears as an X from above, features a central living space and four wings that extend in opposing directions. Woolf’s clever footprint widens the planes of the home, allowing for extended sightlines and creating multiple outdoor destinations. Balancing intimacy and seclusion, along with an interconnected experience, the reciprocal beauty between the residence and its surroundings is breathtaking.
The home’s front exterior is defined by Woolf’s signature oversized Pullman door, and its bold interruption of the mansard roof. Surrounded by curved glass sidelights, this powerful portal foreshadows the drama that unfolds within.