Crafted in 1982 by noted Pasadena-born architect Harold J. Bissner Jr. — probably most known for collaborating with business partner Harold Zook to create the iconic look of Southern California’s Holland-themed Van De Kamp’s bakeries, with their signature folded plate roofs and towering windmills — this striking hillside structure served as the personal residence of the late architect and his wife Lela for some 40 years.
Taking its design cues from post and late modernism, with a little Japanese craftsmanship thrown in for good measure, the South Pasadena home — originally listed for $1.935 million — has sold for $1.82 million, and is complete with five levels of eclectic living space offering an abundance of original details alongside jaw-dropping mountain and valley vistas.
Also included in the overall package: a couple of tasty tweaks courtesy of the longtime homeowner and award-winning architect, including his work office, as well as a Zen-inducing penthouse sunroom sporting a covered deck, Kawara-inspired roof tiles and wooden latticework.
Stacked atop 20-plus wooden pier poles — on a vertigo-inducingly steep, heavily wooded parcel of land — the home’s earth-toned façade is punctuated by a mono-pitch, shed-style roof, diagonal redwood siding, pipe chimneys and angular windows. A short set of steps next to a two-car garage leads to the main entrance, which opens into a foyer adorned with Saltillo tile flooring and a decorative stained-glass window by Judson Studios.
Inside, the 3,870 square feet of light-filled living space is accentuated by cathedral ceilings, tile, brass rails, and original light fixtures and built-ins throughout, while a floating staircase spans four floors.
On the main level: an open living space combines a massive family room with floor-to-ceiling walls of glass, formal dining room with built-in buffet, and a wood-clad kitchen with a breakfast nook and an island. Up from that floor is Bissner’s office space, along with a master retreat outfitted with a separate seating area, fireplace, walk-in closet, deck, and bath bedecked with a vintage sunken periwinkle tub and matching sinks.
Rounding it all off: a huge covered deck that encompasses most of the home’s bottom level, which overlooks the tree-canopied grounds and those magnificent views.
The listing was held by Maureen Erbe, Henry Blackham and Bonnie Matthews of Deasy Penner Podley.