Southern California’s Topanga Canyon is understood for magnificent residences and well-known neighbors. Nonetheless, celebrity hatmaker Nick Fouquet’s geodesic dome house stands out as a shocking residence with expansive views and an interesting backstory.
When Fouquet, 38, purchased the property for $950,000 in November 2016, he was searching for a spot with excessive ceilings that may permit house for airflow, vitality and creativity.
“I needed a spot the place I may suppose and create,” Fouquet says.
The hatmaker earned a level in environmental science however determined to embrace his inventive aspect, making hats in his basement storage and opening his first retailer in Venice in 2014. In the present day, Fouquet — who counts David Beckham, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Pharrell Williams and Tom Brady as a few of his celeb purchasers — has shops in Venice and Aspen. Shopping for a house near his flagship retailer was a plus. However restoring the dome, the visitor home, the pool and the gardens took time and endurance.
Initially, Fouquet thought the house was a Buckminster Fuller-inspired geodesic package house. Fuller, an American architect, author and inventor, patented the design for the geodesic dome kind in 1954. By the Sixties and Seventies, Fuller’s domes had caught on with hippies, communes and owners seeking to embrace the nontraditional. Clients purchased geodesic dome houses that arrived as kits.
After a narrative on Fouquet’s dome house was printed in 2017, the daughter of the unique builders tracked him down and shared the house’s true origin story.
“I am flying again from New York. I land and see an e mail from Vanya Goldberg, the daughter of the unique homeowners, a few biodynamic farmers, saying that her household constructed my geodesic dome house within the Seventies,” he says.
Oakland, Calif.-based Vanya Goldberg describes her dad and mom, Arline Goldberg and Jerry Saltzman, as mental hippies.
Saltzman, who lives within the Sudden Valley neighborhood of Bellingham, Wash., says the couple paid $44,000 for one home on about 2 acres of land. The property was later divided into two authorized tons. They spent $100,000 and two years creating the pool, the gardens and the geodesic dome house crafted with customized furnishings, concrete columns and wooden and glass triangular formed panels.
“I assume we had been semi-hippies or a bit new-age. It was so way back, and I am thus far faraway from that now. However Topanga Canyon has this sort of ambiance. We had seen some domes and had been intrigued by them, so we determined to construct one for ourselves,” Saltzman says.
Over time, the household house served as a faculty and a goat and rooster farm. Vanya Goldberg realized to swim within the pool. However the couple divorced within the Nineteen Eighties and bought each properties, together with the one with the dome. Within the care of the second proprietor, a lawyer, who ultimately died, the geodesic property fell into disrepair. That’s the place Fouquet’s historical past with the Topanga Canyon property began.
“Once I realized it was not a package house, I knew this place was actually uncommon. These folks, this household, they had been forward of their time, sensible and forward-thinking. It is a handmade house, very distinctive,” Fouquet says.
Unearthing his Topanga treasure was not straightforward. Fouquet wanted help. Assist arrived. Nick’s sister Gigi helped recreate the interiors. And Timothy McCarthy of Forma Design Group, who has been designing, constructing and renovating residential and business buildings because the Nineteen Eighties, mentored Fouquet all through the undertaking.
First, McCarthy says they wanted to create a residing house for Fouquet. “The place was borderline uninhabitable when Nick purchased it. And there was no parking infrastructure,” McCarthy says.
“There have been washing machines all around the property. When Nick took over the property, there have been perhaps 5 – 6 paths crammed with all types of issues, previous furnishings, rotting issues. The earlier proprietor buried issues within the floor. There was nothing poisonous, and it was simply particles, so we sifted via the whole lot and recycled what we may,” McCarthy says.
With no off-street parking and quite a few contractors, McCarthy says he created a round parking zone for about 10 automobiles.
Subsequent, McCarthy accomplished work on the swimming pool and tore down an current construction that turned a lovely 600-square-foot visitor home with a kitchen, one bed room and one toilet. Fouquet lived within the visitor home for the primary few years as a top-to-bottom rework on the dome and the panorama progressed. This isn’t conventional guest-house residing, McCarthy says.
“It’s the form of visitor home that I feel most individuals would need to stay in as a house. It is fairly particular,” McCarthy explains.
The crew transitioned to the dome in 2018. “The dome was the very last thing we labored on,” McCarthy says.
McCarthy eliminated the heavy wooden and a sequence of partitions. “We eliminated all of these partitions and opened up the dome and introduced in gentle, gaining quantity inside the interior dome. The quantity and the sunshine encourages Nick’s creativity. We opened it up. So that you get the complete expression of Buckminster Fuller’s intent, which is to really feel and respect and actually expertise the inside house,” McCarthy says.
“I’ve instructed Nick and others that if you’re somebody who cannot discover peace on this property, you are not going to have the ability to discover peace anyplace. It actually has the whole lot you possibly can need in a house. It has the dome, the deer, the views, the breeze and the tranquility,” McCarthy says.
Positioned on a peninsula on about an acre, the 1,800-square foot dome house, constructed with triangular-shaped wooden and home windows, options gorgeous views, two bedrooms, three tales and two wraparound decks. The house has a 900-square-foot main suite with a toilet and a walk-in closet on the decrease stage. The principle stage, the place you enter the house, incorporates a toilet, an open kitchen, a sitting space, and a deck resulting in the again of the home. The higher story has a loft with a lounge and a fire.
Work on the geodesic dome home was accomplished in October 2021. The house has customized stonework within the backyard and luxurious landscaping.
“Tim and I made a decision to plant bushes that may give again as effectively. We put the whole lot from lemon and lime bushes to fig, apple, avocado and plum bushes. The grapefruit tree was already there,” he says.
In the present day, the house is estimated to be price about $2.5 million. For Fouquet, his Topanga Canyon geodesic magnificence is priceless.
Whereas Saltzman plans to go to in some unspecified time in the future, Vanya Goldberg toured the home in February 2020 and is delighted with Fouquet’s imaginative and prescient.
“I went and visited the home and met Tim and Nick. We spent a number of hours speaking and touring the home, which was mid-construction. We have stayed in contact. It has been very highly effective for everybody concerned with the house to have the creation story and be taught extra about the home,” she explains.
Fouquet admits he had a couple of moments of purchaser’s regret within the early levels of the rework, however he’s glad he caught with it. All of them got here to like and embrace the undertaking from the architects and normal contractors and subcontractors, he says.
“Even my lighting man would come on the weekend as a result of he was so excited concerning the undertaking. He took his time to have the right lighting sequence to radiate out from the geodome. It made me respect everybody that got here in to assist. However after I got here on the land, I used to be like, ‘This land feels particular.’ It is perched on this particular place the place you might have a view of the south aspect of the canyon and the north aspect of the canyon. And it has been cool to see the response of individuals coming in as a result of we’re so programmed to see buildings which might be all 90-degree angles. So once you stroll right into a round house of this measurement, it takes a minute for it to hit you. I wish to expertise folks wanting on the house,” Fouquet says.
“It was an extended course of as a result of this place wanted a whole lot of consideration. And we wanted specially-skilled employees to create customized furnishings. It is a dome, you realize? Nobody furnishings producer creates items for geodesic dome houses; there’s not a marketplace for it. You may’t simply go to Ikea or any furnishings retailer. All these items wanted to be taken into consideration. This added one other stage of complexity that we needed to type via repeatedly. However wanting again now, it was an immense quantity of labor however a labor of affection,” he says.
“Vanya [Goldberg] and the household had been so joyful to listen to that I had restored this hidden gem. However I simply felt this intuitive have to carry this house again to life. And I feel in some ways, that’s what I do; whether or not it is with the headwear that I create or branding or discovering a house; I wish to attempt to create magnificence or issues which might be unique,” he provides.
“I’m not certain I noticed it like this early on, however I’ve nice concern for the house and Topanga Canyon. The world is so valued for geography and being out in nature. In hindsight,” Fouquet says, “I really feel so blessed to be in the midst of Los Angeles and a nationwide park 8 minutes from the ocean. It is my sanctuary.”