Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Legendary Venice Compound of Legendary Actor Dennis Hopper for Sale In Venice for a "Medium Cool" $5,750,000

Inside the Dennis Hopper Compound
As a film fan and Venice resident, the Hopper Compound at 330 Indiana Avenue, Venice, always had an air of mystique, glamour, edge and avant garde about it. Even though I would see the frail Mr Hopper in my local gym, so obviously in the grip of his illness, he still shone through as a giant in the world of free-thinking, creative, artistic driven Hollywood; the bad boy of Tinseltown who ended up as the unofficial mayor of Venice!

Not until today did I actually have the opportunity of setting foot inside this remarkable, sprawling masterpiece of a home. There is so much that makes this property unique, magical and exquisite.  Firstly, it’s enormous and comprises of five separate dwellings across a 15,000 sq ft lot – there is the master house which was designed by Architect Brian Murphy, there is the guest cottage which is an original, vintage, craftsman cottage that dates back the early 1900’s and then there are the three condominiums designed by Frank Gehry.

All, except the guest cottage, have huge living spaces, garage and vaulted and exposed wooden frame ceilings. It’s almost impossible to list the number of different styles, designs and materials used in this home but somehow it manages to work effortlessly and creates a natural flow that, whilst labyrinthine, also makes sense.

The main entrance is a small, almost innocuous doorway at 330 Indiana Avenue, that leads through to a reception area that flows through to the main artists exhibition space. Beyond this is a large 3-car garage. Off to the left of the main space is a long, verdant yard with a lap pool and patio area. It is out here on the lawn that you’ll find the quaint little guest cottage that, painted white with the original Craftsman design, sticks out amongst all the modernist metal, concrete, steel and unpainted woodwork that makes up the rest of the buildings. But, even so, it seems to fit in.

It’s clearly a guest cottage or a pool house and – even though it’s about the size of my entire home, it would probably fit quite snugly inside the main living room of the master house.  Back inside the master house, you’ll take a wooden stairway up to the main living quarters. This was Dennis’s crash pad. With a galley way looking down into the main exhibition space, this spacious, minimalist and yet cosy floor is entirely open plan with wrap-around terraces, skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows. It is from this side of the master house that you can access the three condos on the lot via a gangway connecting the properties. All of these condos are designed by Frank Gehry and have his signature vaulted ceilings, mixture of concrete, wood and steel and all feature large open plan spaces. Naturally, there is an abundance of bathrooms and all three condos have access to their own roof decks.

So, it’s hard not to use too many superlatives when describing this property. However, it would be remiss of me not to pass on some of the obvious eccentricities of this home – for a start, it’s going to be tough to maintain and heat. With so much wood and so much outdoor space, you’ll have to be wary of termites. With so many windows, joins, nooks and crannies you’ll need to be careful of leaks and damp. With so much open plan space, ventilation and high ceilings, this place could be very expensive to heat and with sharp edges, galley walkways, and staircases with no banisters or backing, this would be a hazard for small children.

However, if you’re looking to live in one of the coolest neighborhoods in the world, in a sprawling compound designed by some of the coolest architects of the 20th century, that was previously owned by one of the coolest cats ever to make and create art through filmmaking, then this is it. I’ve got to say, this is one of the best perks of my job – being able to wander around amazing homes like this and then share it with you. If I had to sum it up in just a few short words, I’d say that it’s unique, spacious, private, passionate and welcoming. The legend of Dennis Hopper will surely live on in this extraordinary compound. For more information, contact either Jamie or myself at The Adner Group at Keller Williams Hollywood Hills.