Finding just the right piece of art to crown a new home can be a daunting prospect.
But the buyer of this spectacular glass, wood and concrete estate in California’s Silicon Valley shouldn’t have that problem. The home’s curated, eclectic collection of modern art is being offered with the house.
It’s a collection that includes such key pieces as a custom Astral bench chair from artisan Thomas Moser and a pink powder-coated Richard Schultz wing chair facing it. Climbing one wall is a limited-edition set of six whimsical paintings from American pop-artist Donald Baechler.
Two shiny, aluminum mannequins—one seated, the other gazing outward —are just as collectible; they were rescued from San Francisco’s now shuttered I. Magnin & Co department store.
Nearly every one of the 8,000-square-foot home’s multitude of rooms is festooned with head-turning art. Same goes for the sprawling grounds, which feature pieces of dramatic sculpture—including three Robert Holmes bronzes—dotting the premises.
“I love my art, but I am prepared to let it go. I’m ready to move on to my next project, and selling gives me permission to do it all over again,” passionate owner Nicole Vidalakis tells Robb Report.
Vidalakis, a concierge psychologist and daughter of property developer and philanthropist Nick Vidalakis, began her quest to build her dream home in 2008. Records show she paid around $3.7 million for a 3.7-acre parcel in the wealthy Portola Valley community, a short drive from Stanford and Palo Alto.
Her singular vision for the home was always crystal clear: “I wanted a house that looked like a sculpture that someone just happens to live in, a house that was in itself a piece of art.”
In her pursuit of perfection, she interviewed no fewer than 200 architects over an 18-month period, finally settling on Robert Swatt, of Emeryville-based Swatt/Miers Architects.
According to Vidalakis, he was the only one who “got” her brief. “I told him that I didn’t want it to look like another house, but simply a beautiful object. I wanted it to have ultimate form, but without sacrificing function.”
The project ended up taking close to seven years to complete, resulting in this jaw-dropping, three-level, glass-sided modernist residence with distant views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco skyline.
Swatt’s bold design frames one side of the home in an expanse of glass, the opposite side, a dramatic collection of 57 rectangular, mahogany casement windows. Flat roofs top the structure, with a central, poured concrete “spine.”
A private gate off Ash Lane in Portola Valley’s exclusive Westridge community opens to a gravel driveway that climbs up to the home’s bright red doorway.
The vast, open-plan kitchen and dining room, with their 19-foot-high ceilings, look out on the 84-foot, infinity-edged pool and its attention-grabbing, cobalt-blue sunshade. A work of art in itself, it features a single, slender support and circular top.
A soaring wooden staircase in California Claro walnut leads up to the second and third floors. The top floor owner’s suite features a custom bed and headboard upholstered in funky-patterned Missoni silk and flanked by a pair of vintage Murano glass chandeliers.
Not too keen on having guests encroaching on her space, Vidalakis added a separate one-bedroom suite and office above the home’s two-car garage. In addition, across the driveway there’s a stand-alone, self-contained two-bedroom guest villa.
“Yes, I’ll be sad to see it go. This is a truly unique home,” says Vidalakis. “To ensure it stays unique, I made my architect promise he’d never, ever replicate it.”
Listed for $33 million, the sale is being handled by broker Michael Dreyfus of Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty.