Designed by Case Study architect Thornton Abell in 1950, this rakish midcentury modern was built for Dr. William S. Beck, a medical instructor associated with the Atomic Energy Project as chief of UCLA’s hematology and medical departments. Known as the Beck House, it was featured in Architectural Record magazine soon after its completion — heralded for its timeless and innovative design — and the post-and-beam specimen has indeed stood the test of time.
Nestled on just over three-quarters of an acre in the upper reaches of Bel Air, on a notably steep, heavily wooded lot just minutes from UCLA and the Westwood neighborhood — the three-bedroom, three-bath residence largely retains Abell’s original open-plan interiors, sans some minor tweaks to the garage and a few rooms.
Partially obscured from the street by a sprawling tree and concrete wall topped by a louvered wooden fence, the home’s modest entryway opens into a little more than 2,000 square feet of sun-drenched living space replete with polished cement flooring throughout, and a swath of floor-to-ceiling picture windows and glass sliding doors providing seamless indoor-outdoor living.
Though it’s small, the kitchen boasts an updated Viking oven and range, along with a breakfast bar and dining nook. An adjacent library/study space is highlighted by a handsome stacked-stone fireplace and doors that empty into a patio ideal for relaxing with a soothing water feature. In a separate wing is a spacious master suite sporting a seating area with a wood-burning fireplace, sliding glass doors leading to an inviting bamboo-encased patio, and an en-suite bath with dual vanities and a walk-in shower.
Outdoors, the central courtyard overlooks an expansive grassy lawn and garden, while a trail meanders up to a secluded studio/office retreat. There’s also a two-car garage that’s currently being used as an art studio.