Back in 2017, white-collar criminal defense lawyer Peter Morris forked over $3.2 million for a Ray Kappe-designed property known as the Strimling House, purchasing the place from Capitol Music exec Michelle Jubelirer and her Buckcherry guitarist partner Keith Nelson.
The striking treehouse-like structure was built in 1964 on Encino’s Oak View Drive and has remained largely untouched through the years — barring a minor restoration in the mid-2000s, overseen by interior designer Sarah Rosenhaus, that was based on the master architect’s original blueprints. Now on the market for $4.5 million, Morris looks to be ready to reap a nifty profit on his investment — should he net the asking price.
Giving the home its wow factor, according to listing agent Craig Knizek of The Agency: “The timeless beauty of indelible architecture means you’re living in a treehouse designed by a thoughtful master,” he says.
“The incredible beauty of the architecture, and the intelligent and sensible design has stood the test of time,” adds Knizek, “and the outdoor spaces are extensions of the home, which means the 4,000 square feet of living space encompasses a much, much larger lifestyle.”
Nestled on almost an acre of remote and wooded grounds in the San Fernando Valley’s Gable Estates neighborhood — a 20-acre plot of land that once belonged to “Gone With The Wind” star Clark Gable and his wife Kay Sperckels Gable — the two-level home is marked by a multitiered façade punctuated by abundant terraces and balconies.
A winding, gated drive leads to the motor court. Once inside the house, a eucalyptus tree greets visitors to a central atrium. Several of Kappe’s signature design elements come into play throughout the structure, from redwood paneling and beamed ceilings to floor-to-ceiling windows and cantilevered rooms.
Among the highlights: an eat-in kitchen sporting original cabinetry that has been given a light refinishing, a built-in desk and updated stainless-steel appliances — including a five-burner cooktop integrated into a center island — along with an open living and dining room area marked by built-in seating and a large masonry fireplace.
Also standing out is a sizable master suite with a row of bookshelves and sliding doors leading to a balcony overlooking the lot’s towering trees, plus a stone-clad patio that opens to an attractive lagoon-style pool with a waterfall and hot tub.
Kappe, who died at age 92 in 2019, designed 100 custom residences throughout his lifetime. He also founded the Southern California Institute for Architecture, widely regarded as one of the nation’s top architecture schools.