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Location: Santa Ynez, Calif.
The Skinny: This award-winning contemporary home in the heart of Southern California wine country was designed by noted Los Angeles architect Frederick Fisher, whose work includes the restoration of Sunnylands at the Annenberg Retreat and Tongva Park in downtown Santa Monica (which recently opened to overwhelmingly positive responses). The home is arranged on a grid scheme—with the floorplan divided into zones for living, sleeping, and working—and wraps around a landscaped courtyard at the center. While a large modern box plopped down on a high ridge-line may seem like an unlikely candidate to blend into the countryside, the rusted Cor-Ten steel cladding is Fisher's ace in the hole, meant to age "into a rich brown color that complements the earthy surroundings". The home's large sliding glass walls, dramatic siting, and structured exterior spaces also contribute to the indoor/outdoor living theme, which garnered it a featured spot in Interior Design Magazine and a 2007 AIA Design Merit Award. The six-bedroom, five-bathroom compound comes with 20 acres of land and is asking $7.5M.
· Santa Ynez, Calif. [Sotheby's Realty]