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Six Things We Just Learned About Richard Landry, Designer of SoCal's Most Obscene Suburban Palaces

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With a blockbuster portfolio that includes a limestone McCastle for Tom and Gisele (now sold to Dr. Dre), a 30,000-square-foot French manor for Mark Wahlberg, and a $150M modern palace, prolific SoCal architect Richard Landry usually just lets his ostentatious designs do all the talking. But speaking in-depth with the New York Times recently, Landry reveals a bit more about himself—why he went to L.A. in the first place, which project catapulted him into this whole "designing for the stars" business, and how he wishes people would stop thinking he's only capable of "mega" undertakings.

6. Landry admires "singular visionaries like Zaha Hadid," but is content with finding success in his own way, which basically comes down to doing whatever the client wants. Landry joked he would "start playing squash" if the client is going after an in-home squash court.

5. Landry's imminent SoCal empire was totally unexpected: Facing a recession back home in Canada during his early professional years, Landry effectively chose to move to L.A. because of the sunny weather and, as the Times puts it, "the fact that it was 1984 and everyone was talking about the Summer Olympics."

4. His first job In L.A. involved crafting a different kind of fantasy: Landry initially worked for a firm that specialized in theme parks like Six Flags Magic Mountain.

3. Landry's "first break" was nothing like a mansion. After launching his own firm in 1987, Landry "took any job offered," which meant he eagerly accepted a request to design a fence for a condo project. "I was going to do the best possible fence I could," he recalled thinking. The fence job ended up getting Landry a gig designing a 10,000-square-foot spec house in Beverly Hills, which then led to more commissions for custom, high-end homes; celebrities like Kenny G. and Bruce Jenner soon came knocking.

2. Landry is sick of the "king of the megamansion" label, which is more or less scaring away some potential clients. "Clients read this and think we only do mansions," he tells the Times. "They want a 5,000- or 10,000-square-foot house and think it's too small." In fact, he apparently categorizes his range of work by size: small, medium, large and extra-large. In Landry's book, "XL" is a 40,000-square-foot French country estate; "L" is a 23,000-square-foot house in Beverly Hills; "M" is a 7,500-square-foot white-stucco Spanish colonial. And "S"?

1. A "small" house is what Landry himself lives in these days. After selling his barn-inspired home in Malibu last year, Landry moved into a 4,300-square-foot Malibu beach house that looks like an ultra-modern, super -white box. The Times describes it like this: "The interior is a bit Miami Beach nightclub: mirrors; lights that change from orange to purple to blue; a bathroom fixture shaped like a joystick; and, in the master bedroom, a cabernet leather headboard."

· The King of the Megamansion [NY Times]
· Tom and Gisele's New Chateau is Coming Along Nicely [Curbed National]
· 8 Facts About Mark Wahlberg's Landry-Designed Megamanse [Curbed National]