The Razor House: Advanced Design on the Cliffside

The Razor house is a modern masterpiece that is built into the cliffs of Torrey Pines State Park in La Jolla, California. The building combines luxury and organic design and is characterized by its stunning views and advanced features. Built mainly from concrete and glass the structure looks as if it is part of the mountainside. The creator of the Razor House is one of the most celebrated architects in the country, Wallace Cunningham. The building occupies an expanse on the cliffside and has a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.

The razor house: advanced design on the cliffside
© The Pinnacle List

Where Nature and Luxury Meet

The razor house gets its name Razor Point which is a local monument. It is also close to Torrey Pines golf course, the Del Mar race track and the La Jolla Playhouse. The home’s appearance organically blends in with its surroundings, and it is constructed from white concrete with steel supports and tall glass walls. The walls provide a spectacular view of the ocean and cliffs from every side. The electricity in the house is controlled by an iPad, and the air conditioning, music, heat and light are regulated at the press of a button.

There has a sanctuary outside of the house that is walled in for privacy, while many other sections in the house are transparent. The floors are made of high quality stone, and Verostone is the material used for the sinks and the counters. The furniture and cabinetry is made of walnut, and walls in the master bedroom are covered with a handsome, suede motif.

Razor House Details

The Razor House contains 10,246 feet of living space with two master suites, two additional bedrooms, four full bathrooms and two half baths. The home contains a gym, a steam room and a spa. There is an outdoor barbecue space and attached guesthouse with many of the same features as the main home. One noteworthy area of the Razor House is the Infinity swimming pool which gives the swimmer the illusion of swimming right into the Pacific Ocean.

The home contains a subterranean garage that can accommodate four full-sized vehicles. Also included in the home is a full-sized laundry, a library with decorative Ralph Lauren glass and a family room with a Shagreen liquor cabinet. A home entertainment center contains state-of-the-art equipment with acoustically treated walls and full-length screens.

A glass elevator connects the subterranean garage to the rooftop. There is also a central courtyard which is elegantly designed and has specially designed walls to regulate the flow of wind into the premises. The décor of the house is contemporary and minimalist which accentuates the natural beauty of the stone surfaces and the views of the cliffs and the ocean. Nature and design complement each other to form an organic appearance.

The Razor House Sale

The owner of the razor house is Don Burns, who is the former chairman of Magic Jack, a provider of VoIP technologies, developed by Burns. The telecommunications developer and astute real estate investor paid $14.1 million for the property in a deal that received buzz from the press because of the complexity of the transaction. The original owner, Jim Donald Cooksey, filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and the home was purchased at a deep discount from the original price of $45 million.

Cunningham’s Design Challenges

One of the challenges Cunningham faced when designing the Razor House was the vertical packing which limited design options. The site required a substantial overhaul and infrastructure work before it could be built up. Given regulations restricting building and the layout of the space, it would have been impossible to build a conventional suburban home on the site. The Razor House required thinking and designing outside of the box and accounts for the property’s uniqueness. Cunningham needed to incorporate a retaining wall on an uphill slope to keep the design consistent and provide the views that would characterize the property. The interior was hallowed out, and the retaining wall allowed a sufficient amount of sunlight through to illuminate the structure.

Ironman’s House

The Razor House, which can be seen from a distance and has attracted widespread interest since it was first conceived, eventually constructed and resold at almost a third of its original price, has been a focal point of the area. Many of those who view it from a distance believe that it would be the kind of home Ironman protagonist Tony Stark would live in if he were to reside on the side of a cliff in La Jolla, California. Its striking, nearly transparent exterior and the optical illusion it creates of being built onto a mountainside make it seem like the stuff of fiction and film. Tony Stark would no doubt enjoy its many high-tech smart features that can be controlled at a simple press of the button.

The Razor House is one of the most unique architectural achievements in recent years, and has received substantial press attention. It is a beloved landmark in La Jolla and is yet another crowning achievement for award-winning architect, Walter Cunningham. One can expect to see a number of homes inspired by Cunningham’s design appear in the near future.

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