What’s behind a gate? In the case of this iconic 1960s modern from midcentury master Hal Levitt, it’s the Holt House, one of Southern California’s ultimate and most untarnished examples of sublime indoor-outdoor living. The sublimely preserved structure sits beyond a long, hedge-lined driveway. A bridge over the property’s swimming pool connects the master suite to the living room, while the home’s other public rooms surround a tranquil courtyard, separated only by sheer walls of glass.
Invisible from the street behind a thick canopy of mature trees, the 6,200-square-foot house sits on 1.4 acres in one of Beverly Hills’ best neighborhoods. Back on the market for the first time in a decade, with a $26 million asking price, the structure boasts museum-quality craftsmanship and dramatic design elements that feature soaring ceilings, glazed walls and terrazzo floors. Extra enticements include a detached guesthouse and rooftop deck with city lights view.
These features attracted the late dynamo hair-care mogul Vidal Sassoon, who scooped up the place in 1992 and added such modern-day accouterments as a home gym, manicured gardens and al fresco dining spaces. Inside, interior areas are alternatively both cozy and sterile, but nearly all of them afford whiplash-inducing views of the estate’s leafy gardens.
In 2010, Sassoon sold the property for exactly $10 million to Juan Barazi, a Danish entrepreneur with business interests in the African country of Angola, where he has ties to the region’s lucrative diamond mining trade. Much has been made of Barazi’s close friendship and business association with Isabel dos Santos, Africa’s richest woman and a current target of Angola’s ongoing corruption investigations, though he has not been charged with any wrongdoing. In the 10 years that he’s owned the compound, Barazi has also taken pains to revert previous modifications to Levitt’s original design intent.