The Coastal Haven of La Jolla

Hill Construction: Marine Lair in La Jolla, CA

Hill Construction’s project, Marine Lair, takes luxury to a new level. From the subterranean turntable garage to the rooftop pool, the home has unveiled new heights in architecture.

Compiled by Marco Martinez

The Marine Lair custom home, located in the beautiful Southern California city of La Jolla, is an engineering marvel. Hill Construction Company, along with Matrix Design Studio, built this 3200 square foot uber bachelor pad in the span of 16 months. Hill Construction Company was chosen to build this project because they are a leader in complex, luxury custom homebuilding. As in most custom projects, there exists heterogeneity in the home’s personality: sleek, rugged, modern and timeless. Marine Lair handsomely not only does this, but also coalesces nature and technology along the coast of La Jolla.

“Due to the highly complex and technical nature of Marine Lair’s custom features,” says Hill Construction’s President Ryan Hill, “we spent hundreds of man hours in preconstruction planning to ensure that each detail was executed perfectly the first time.”

The four-stories are meant to fully maximize coastal views while adhering to strict coastal height limitations and tight lot considerations. Fueled with desire for uncompromising design and unparalled attention to detail, coupled with the ultimate in state-of-the-art technology, this home proved an exciting Architectural challenge.

Every facet of the home is intricately fashioned, every feature fascinates to the point of hypnosis. Nowhere is this more evident than in the turntable garage. Here, a steep driveway with ramp walls clad in heavy split face blue-black granite leads to this state-of-the-art three car garage, which is engineered to accommodate the lowest of sports cars as the hydraulic ramp inclines upward to flatten the entry ramp allowing the car to miss the normal hump of the driveway/ sidewalk connection without bottoming out. The ramp then lowers the car to an almost horizontal position at the entrance of the garage to allow a smooth disembarkation. The interior of the garage features a circular turntable guided by positioning lasers to spin and reposition the cars once inside. The garage door made of bead blasted titanium, glass panels andKoa wood is retracted by high-tech sequencing smart house technology.

As you approach the house on foot, you are greeted by an oversized pivoting figured Koa entry door, weighing approximately 600 pounds, and which is lined with mounted dimming LED lights that illuminate the scintillating material of optic acrylic shapes to create small squares of pure light.


Inside, located in the lower garage level is a large beach bathroom complete with steam shower. A dark hand textured Makrame stone from Italy clads the floor and ceiling of the shower framing a large and very rare LED backlit Brazilian vintage granite from Minas Gerais, which has large occlusions of clear quartz and carnelian patches of mica and tourmaline all located in the cave of the steam shower.

“Another stunning feature is the cantilevered staircase which descends from the master bedroom and is composed of floating stainless steel struts,” says Hill. “The staircase cantilevers from the curved entry wall with softly lit edge treads, which spiral up to the second landing. This view of the skylight above is from the staircase. The skylight will allow light from the rooftop pool to reflect onto this glass staircase creating a dancing light effect.”

On the rooftop there is one of the most intriguing and carefully engineered elements of the house, this sculptured infinity-edged pool complete with an eight-person Jacuzzi, is crafted for pure entertainment with a stunning ocean view. Water bar stools line the bar of the connecting rooftop kitchen. Iridescent pewter glass tiles pierced by optic fiber lights for nightly star reflections line the pool to where it meets the Arctic White marble encasing the exterior. There are two carved out walls with thick laminated glass panels transparently displaying the water. A curved glass skylight on the floor creates dancing light reflected onto the floating staircase inside the house. The weight of the pool when filled is approximately 65,000 pounds, which is equivalent to having about 20 midsized cars on the roof. A butler’s elevator connects the interior kitchen with the rooftop kitchen.

The master bedroom entry on the second floor is framed by a crisp edge of two intersecting curved walls creating a bow shape. The entry door is a Koa panel, which when opened, adds an additional panel to a full length wave form of ten panels each offset from the next by a slit of backlit wave acrylic. The interior of this exposed door closet is made of Makare, a sister wood in the Mahogany family. The master bed, made with Koa and leather, looks seaward through window walls that like its main floor cousin, pocket completely into the stout chiseled amazon limestone panels which wrap into the residence at all column locations and open the deck to the bedroom. Flip down TVs are installed throughout the house including the master bedroom. This image shows the case for the TV in the ceiling, remotely controlled to extend out of the ceiling and rotate 360 degrees for viewing at every angle.

The master bathroom is separated from the bedroom by a nanotechnology dimming glass which can allow full view of the ocean or complete privacy with the touch of a button. The shower is framed by the column amazon limestone from the exterior except for an eight piece carved limestone panel set with a wave pattern. The cabinets are floating planes of Koa slightly supported by backlit fused glass forms, which not only underline the base cabinet, but the medicine cabinet and upper soffit as well. The back wall of the bathroom is glass which is only partially masked with white diffusing film to allow views of the skyline and skylight from the pool.


Large sea-facing windows in the master bedroom and living room retract and completely pocket away in the walls transforming the interior to an outdoor space open to the salty ocean breeze. Below, in the entry pond, black pewter glass tile twinkles in a lit reflecting pool underlining the pedestal path of coarse adzed limestone leading to the front door.

For wine lovers, the ce de résistance may be the chilled wine room that features walls which are divided between single bottle acrylic backlit storage. The back wall, which is characterized by edge-lit acrylic shelves with grooves for edge supporting display wine, creates a “floating” effect, framed by large split face blue-black granite faces quarried from a local San Marcos quarry. A beautiful Koa cabinet underlines the room for large case storage. The room will be maintained at 54 degrees F to maintain optimal life for the wine.

Some of the details that make Marine Lair unlike any other home are the unique materials incorporated throughout. Koa wood, indigenous to Hawaii, was derived from a Silver Koa tree that was blown over during a storm on the island of Maui. As the Koa population has suffered from grazing and logging, it is prohibited to export this wood. However, since it was uprooted by a natural cause, the wood was allowed to be registered with the government and exported to use for this home. The Koa is dispersed throughout the house in pieces of furniture and fixtures. The light Koa is used on a coffee table in the living room and as the wood of the kitchen cabinets. The front door of the house is made of solid dark Koa as well as the master bedroom closets. The dark Koa is also used in panels on the garage door, large cabinet in the wine room, and the master bed.

The deep sea fossilized limestone is hand stout chisel chased to create a bold and dramatic texture on the three full height columns. The limestone of coarse adze finish for durability and effective non-skid texture will cap the walls and columns, and act as the stepping stone to the entry pedestal path.

The Café Forest Marble is quarried from a bedrock quarry near the village of Vidhasar in the district of Bikaner, Rajasthan, India. This particular marble is very strong compared to others in the industry and usually requires granite machinery to cut and polish the stone. Characteristics in veining and movement will tend to vary between shipments depending on the portion of the quarry from which the stone was extracted.

Hill Construction Company has created a ravishing home and is continuing to seek out and build the most luxurious and the most complex custom homes and projects throughout the United States.

Marco Martinez is an assistant editor at Options magazine. He may be contacted at

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