This cliff-dwelling castle is a classic study of modern design — and its location, perched atop prime La Jolla real estate, offers nothing short of spectacular 180-degree ocean views from three stories of solid glass walls. Dr. Stefan Lemperle and famed architect/urban developer/designer Jonathan Segal joined forces to dream up one of Bird Rock’s most impressive homes, furnished with contemporary sensibility and with every must-have feature in mind (including a quarter-million-dollar "brain" that controls everything from the drapes to the thermostat — from an iPhone).
Lemperle, president and CEO of AscentX Medical, made one strong request of the architect: Make it as ultra-modern and high-quality as possible.
"If there was a decision to be made," notes Segal, "Stefan wanted only the best of everything."
The 4,800-square-foot house sits on a 4,300-square-foot lot and was designed "to visually and aesthetically create as much space, real or perceived, as possible." The top three tiers of the four-story structure are above ground, but to expand beyond the strict La Jolla height limitations, they decided to dig down. The home boasts a 2,000-square-foot subterranean level that rivals any downtown lounge, with its own expansive bar, swanky seating area (complete with a river-rock pond) and media room. To prevent it from feeling too "dennish," light wells allow plenty of natural sunshine to stream through.
Above ground, metal sculptures and paintings by local and international artists flank the walls and outdoor entertaining areas. A highlight of the home — besides its landscaping, stainless steel rooftop spa, chef’s kitchen and 9-foot seamless panel windows that line each floor — would have to be the concrete gas fire pits along the length of the house, designed as a natural element to connect the ocean to the structure while also providing a toasty outdoor entertaining area.
This modern masterpiece is sleek and cutting edge yet eminently serene. One might wonder what a billionaire living on his own would do with such a home — but the better question might be "What could he not do?"