This Japanese Minka house was crafted by noted midcentury architect Jack A. Charney, a Richard Neutra disciple best known for designing West Hollywood’s celeb-studded Sierra Towers skyscraper in the 1960s. With its roomy interiors and Zen-like backyard boasting a floating tea room, the Beverly Hills Flats compound surely isn’t one to be overlooked. Last sold about 50 years ago for just under $230,000 — or a mere $31 per square foot — the alluring abode has now returned to the market, asking a tad shy of $13 million.
In case you’re wondering, a Minka — or “house of the people” — is a vernacular dwelling that’s built using any of the traditional Japanese building styles. Traditionally inhabited by 18-century farmers, merchants and artisans, any traditional Japanese-style residence in today’s landscape could be referred to as Minka.
Embedded into a flat and rectangular parcel spanning over a half-acre, the six-bedroom and seven-bath property was originally built back in 1960. Meticulously preserved by its current owners through the years, the residence features just over 7,400 square feet of sprawled-out living space punctuated throughout with rich hardwood floors, exposed wood-beam ceilings and vintage fixtures, plus modern amenities like an alarm system. Floor-to ceiling walls of glass in almost every room also provide views of the picturesque grounds.
Fronted by a circular driveway that empties into a spacious motorcourt and four-car garage, the two-story wood structure is accented by a flat roof and covered walkway that passes by a lush courtyard adorned with mature trees and a koi pond on its way to a double front door painted an orangish shade. Once inside, a wide entrance corridor overlooks a central atrium, and a formal living room has a suspended-mantle fireplace and Shoji screens opening to the front courtyard. A formal dining room with access to a wine cellar and tasting room down below rests adjacent to a wood-clad kitchen, which sports granite countertops, a center island, high-end stainless appliances and a breakfast nook.
Other main-level highlights include a family room with Capiz globe pendants, a wet bar offering service windows to the backyard and two-way fireplace that connects to a cozy library. A hallway with hand-carved skylight screens leads to the home’s north wing, which holds six en-suite bedrooms. Among them: a sizable master retreat displaying gold-foiled wallpaper, built-in bench seating and sliding glass doors spilling out to a serene garden, along with a walk-in closet/dressing room adjoining a tiled bath equipped with a sunken tub and standalone shower.
A narrow curving staircase clad in golden-hued carpet heads upstairs to an oversized den with yet another wet bar. Then there’s the dreamy backyard, which hosts a large freeform pool and meandering stone walkways, as well as an al fresco dining area surrounded by a pond and a detached “chashitsu” (Japanese tea room) with Shoji screen walls. Topping it all off: an additional structure at the rear of the property that, per the listing, can be used as a Ping-Pong or yoga room.