How Music Inspires Paul McClean’s Luxury Modern Designs | LUNO

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October 18, 2019

How Music Inspires Paul McClean’s Luxury Modern Designs | LUNO

McClean Design
McClean Design

Paul McClean (Photo by John Russo)

 

Since 2000, the modern living produced by McClean Design has increased the popularity of luxury architecture and interior design. They are one of the most sought-after firms in the L.A. area for their luxury residential palatial houses. Every one of their projects plays with the connection between indoors and outdoors, with expansive windows allowing for panoramic vistas of the adjacent landscape and the L.A Basin.

 

All of Paul McClean’s 60-plus projects are distinct, but they all share certain similarities. Many projects take advantage of topography and landscape to provide privacy, and to create spacious basement levels where clients can host private parties overlooking the city. Cantilevered rooms with impressive views can be found in many projects, along with interior courtyards with trees. Other similarities between the projects are entertainment rooms, double-height spaces, infinity pools, waterfalls, reflection ponds, fountains, vegetation walls, and multi-car garages.

McClean Design

Robin (Photo by John Russo)

 

McClean Design

Bel Air (Photo by John Russo)

 

McClean Design

Blue Jay Way 1-1 (Photo by John Russo)

 

McClean Design

(Photo by John Russo)

These luxury homes of between 4,000 and 12,000 square-feet in area are flooded with natural light, and mostly feature natural finishes. Clients love the work of Paul McClean for its high-end contemporary style.

 

You can see much more about the work of Paul McClean’s firm in his new book,  McClean Design: Creating the Contemporary House.

(You can read an L.A. Times interview with McClean about the book here and another article about him in Architectural Digest)

McClean Design

Book cover

So how does music inspire this famous architect as a person and as a designer?  We asked the man himself. Here’s what he had to say:

 

“Music has been a constant presence in my life since a very early age and I love many different types from classical through to techno.  I am not very musically inclined but that does not stop me from listening.  It inspires me and alters or enhances my mood depending on what I am listening to and how I am feeling.  As long as I have been listening to music though I have wanted to be an architect.“

 

“I have been fortunate to be able to work in a field that I love and have been successfully running my own firm for the last twenty years.  We specialize in high end contemporary homes and our design process is very intense but also fulfilling.”

 

“Designing contemporary homes is integrally connected with music for me.  It is very much about movement and pattern.  I don’t think I have ever really designed anything worthwhile without music in the background.  It helps me get into a place where my mind is open to new ideas and where I can visualize connections between spaces and proportion.”

McClean Design

(Photo by John Russo)

“I often listen to contemporary classical music such as Philip Glass or Hans Richter while drawing.  The ebb and flow of Glass’s compositions seem to flow directly onto the page, repetition and pattern flow through the design with the music building to high and low points in both the design and the score.”

 

“Recently I have been working on a large home for a family in Thailand.  It was important to the Owner that the home be unique and I was inspired looking at a sheet of music.  The home has been designed as a series of high and low “notes” against a datum similar to how notes are arranged on a sheet.   Perhaps too direct an interpretation, we will see as the design progresses.”

 

“Much of our work today is done in three dimensions with the aid of computers and design software but growing up in the eighties and early nineties everything was drawn by hand and long hours of drafting late into the night were only possible with the help of a diverse soundtrack not limited to but generally involving U2, Eurhythmics, Kraftwerk, Crowded House, Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil among many other favorites.  Maybe it’s time to revisit some of that and see how it might influence the designs we are working on today.”

 

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