RVSD September 2012 : Page 66

66 | the RADAR | home | September 2012

The Radar Home

AnnaMaria Stephens

Two Visionaries Turn An Oddball Mission Hills Lot Into A Mod Compound

Mission Possible

When Soheil Nakhshab first saw the Mission Hills lot where he’d build his modern dream home, he shrugged off the fact that it had stood empty for more than a decade. The steep grade from the street to the canyon floor had deterred countless buyers, despite the property’s prime location.

“We did a lot of research,” says Soheil, a designer and engineer who runs the firm Nakhshab Design Development (NDD) with his brother Nima, who handles construction. “And we discovered the answer.”

An easement let NDD use city property to build a driveway leading directly to the lower elevation. “Being able to drive right into the carport was a big deal for us, because then you’re really home,” says Soheil. “You don’t have to park somewhere and hike down with all your stuff.”

Problem solved, Soheil embraced his next challenge: creating a comfortable living space for three generations of Nakhshabs, including his parents, his 2-year-old, and his girlfriend, who is expecting the couple’s second child in January.

“We designed the house into the slope,” Soheil explains. “By having part of the structure be subterranean, we were able to maximize the size. Since it’s multigenerational, we wanted plenty of room so we each had our own areas.”

The two-level, 4,899-square-foot Shayan House, named for Soheil’s son, features a reversed floor plan, with a striking wood-and-steel staircase leading from the shared quarters on the main floor to the private suites below. The dwelling—built with a modern mix of materials such as pale concrete, rich walnut and ample glass—takes its cues from midcentury design.

“It’s my favorite style and what I generally design for our clients,” explains Soheil. “I feel like San Diego deserves architecture that stands the test of time and midcentury definitely does that.”

The open layout also nods to the family’s Persian roots—the Nakhshabs left Iran for California when their sons were very young, relocating to Olivenhain.

“Persians consider family and entertaining very important,” says Soheil. “This multigenerational, open-plan living is common in Iran.”

Among the coolest features of the home? A secret cinderblock-façade door that opens to reveal a soundproof music and movie room. “I wanted to make something unique that would draw everyone’s attention,” explains Nima, who lives nearby and worked closely on the project with Soheil and their father, a retired engineer. (Nima, the younger— and, according to him, “much betterlooking”— brother, plans to design his own custom home eventually. “But before that I need to build myself a family!” he laughs.)

The house’s other distinction—it is the first LEED Gold-certified home in San Diego—elicits a sigh from Soheil.

“Sustainable design and construction shouldn’t be a trophy you’re trying to achieve,” he says. “It’s not a new thing. People just got lazy and greedy. We think in terms of quality control and quality design. It doesn’t cost more money. It just means we’re managing the project from start to finish.”

Read the full article at http://digital.modernluxury.com/article/The+Radar+Home/1147580/122906/article.html.

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