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Kurt Wenner's Garish Gargantua Won't Grace SoCal After All

Artist/architect Kurt Wenner takes a true high-low approach to his chosen crafts. As an artist, he chalks and paints sidewalks and streets with striking 3-D scenes, inspired by Renaissance frescos. Free art, or at least something cool to look at on the way to work. As an architect though, Wenner goes gaga for pseudo-historic residential commissions that are anything but free.

This particular 40,000-square-foot monster was planned for a 350-acre site in Santa Barbara, Calif., which—if a certain $35M, 3.5-acre estate is anything to go on—is not the cheapest place to get ahold of a big tract. Dubbed Villa Té, the labyrinthine palace was to be built into the crest of a hill, with the main entrance at the top and a series of terraces spilling down the hillside. It shouldn't come as a surprise that the blueprints never came to fruition or that warren rooms in the heart of the beast doesn't scream cozy. Finished product or not, we'll take the hardcore floorplan porn.

· Kurt Wenner [official site]
· Kurt Wenner: Street Painting [photo gallery]
· Villa Té—An out of this world estate that never was [Homes of the Rich]
· Indulge Inner Exhibitionist in Coastal California Modern Manse [Curbed National]