Amber Anderson Interviews World Renowned Architects Safide & Rabines

Amber Anderson:

Hey, Amber Anderson here, and I’m so excited. I’m sitting in The Wave House, one of my premier listings, and I get the honor of speaking with Taal Sardie and Ricardo Rabines who are responsible for building this masterpiece. So thank you both for being here today.

Taal Sardie:

It’s nice to be here. Thank you.

Amber Anderson:

I know this has been a while since you built it and then of course, you enhanced it when Blake and Mike Owner took over, but what was your inspiration? And obviously you had a slope lot when you were tasked with the challenge of building this home, but were there some challenges you had to overcome whenever you did start this project?

Taal Sardie:

Yeah, absolutely.

Ricardo Rabines:

Many.

Taal Sardie:

Yeah, many, many challenges. The sloped site is being one of them. It’s very steep and coming down into the site all the way to the pool was a challenge of making it feel like it’s an integrated experience. And then also having the street right there as you enter and trying to make that into an entrance that feels interesting.

Ricardo Rabines:

And private.

Taal Sardie:

And private.

Amber Anderson:

I’m sitting in the kitchen area, but I notice if I’m ever over at the sink, just how your eyesight and the level upon which pedestrians as they walk by, you can’t necessarily directly see into the house. I thought that was a very clever angle to take.

One of my favorite things, which I’ve never seen, and I’ve had the pleasure of listing some pretty amazing architectural homes here in San Diego, but the glass walls up in the master that move, it’s such a unique and fun thing to include in a house. What was that inspiration? Where did you …? The mechanics of getting all of those perfect, but it offers sun and privacy, but where was that inspiration from?

Taal Sardie:

Air flow. This allows for the circulation of the air to go through the whole house. It also makes you feel like you’re in one big open space if you’re just in the house alone.

Ricardo Rabines:

And also we knew that the third floor would be very hot because it’s built towards the sun, so that almost becomes a chimney in a way that the air can just move very quickly. The other thing about that is that the roof on the third floor, the master bedroom. It’s curving and is shaping, it’s sort of a reflection of connecting to the neighborhood. The roofs in the neighborhood are all pitched and all very traditional Spanish. So the master bedroom has that slowly delicate shape that relates to the rest of the neighbors.

Amber Anderson:

Well, even just the windows in the bathroom and then through the closet to have all of that natural lighting and they can open and slide. I mean, it’s very well thought out. Clearly this is your area of expertise.

Your architect firm is here in Mission Hills, but you were famous, not just for residential, but for commercial. I’ve done my research I watched years ago in the La Jolla historic society did a lecture series, just the residential homes that you guys have been a part of and created. But the commercial side, that list is so impressive from firehouses to bridges, to universities. You really have a resume that I think is outstanding and just unique in your design.

I always say, especially granted I’m selling the home, but people today, I feel they want to buy something architecturally significant and they want to buy something that’s famous. It is truly a piece of art. Your resume helps make this home so special. Again, I just want to commend you on all of your success because it’s nice to have you local and clearly the two of you are no stranger to architecture. Just from a side note, and I know somebody asked you what your favorite project was that you’ve ever worked on years ago, and that was when I watched that interview. That was some time ago, but now what do you have is your favorite project?

Taal Sardie:

The hardest question. Maybe still the Scripps Forum at UCSC.

Amber Anderson:

Scripps Forum is such a community piece and I think that’s very telling in your story.

Ricardo Rabines:

Yeah, I think that’s one of the nicest pieces.

Taal Sardie:

Yeah. And it was really early. It was one of these early projects that we did quite early on. So it’s funny that we still go back to that.

Amber Anderson:

When you were tasked with the current owner of the house to take that phase two and build the suspension bridge over the guest house, and this is what I love bragging about is because from day one, you have been a part of this project from its original construction all the way through its enhancement as I always like to say, so the integrity of this home has … it’s like an artist. The same person has always touched it. Is there anything. I’ve shared my favorite part of this property, was there something that stood out that you remember? Obviously, the platform off the master that has that panoramic crazy view is quite special, but was there anything else that stood out that you remember?

Taal Sardie:

I think the thing that we like about the house a lot is how the circulation in the house is celebrated so that whenever you go up or down the stairs which you do quite often when you’re living in a house, you’re really enjoying the best views both down towards the Bay or up towards the sky, you’re always either seeing the sky or the water. I think that was the idea of the house.

I think the new owners, the second owners who own it now, they really completed the vision by building the guest house and adding the bridge and creating this really fantastic outdoor roof deck, which we have been to many times at parties. They would have this fantastic glowing bar that they would put on the deck and they would have wonderful parties that would take you from the house, from the top floor down the stairs onto the bridge, over onto the roof. It’s nice. That was nice.

Ricardo Rabines:

That’s exactly the heart. It’s just don’t deny what it is there. It’s just a canyon. So we tried to experience the canyon up and down, ascending, descending and make that part of the living experience. And that’s what works.

Taal Sardie:

Right.

Ricardo Rabines:

[crosstalk 00:06:16] Blackstone too. Sorry, because it’s stone on the public space was very, very key and that was a nice way to feel that the grounds were coming up.

Taal Sardie:

Were coming up.

Amber Anderson:

The Blackstone is timeless as well. While this house is very contemporary and it has some bold colors, I can’t tell you how warm it feels every time I come in here. The energy here is just amazing.

One last thing I was going to ask you, which obviously this is personal. I’ve read through and you’ve got children and I know, Taal, you grew up with architecture, obviously with your father and, Ricardo, I know that you were studying early on. Did any of your children follow in your footsteps?

Taal Sardie:

Not one, not one. Two in science, but one is considering art so who knows where she’ll go.

Amber Anderson:

Nice, nice. Clearly you guys have worked together for a long time and I work with my husband as well so I always love, and I was just kind of reading, and just how the two of you work together is I think critical to your success too, because I think, Ricardo, you were saying Taal focuses on the details and you guys just kind of balance each other out really, really well when it comes to these projects. I think you said you come in for the ending. It was pretty cool how you described that.

Ricardo Rabines:

Yeah. Sometimes I’m like a big picture, like a lot of man. I like the big mood in a way. I just could handle bigger scale, and then I see the big picture, but it’s much difficult for me to see the detail. When we’re discussing those things, Taal just quickly sees the detail so we go from 5,000 feet to 15 feet.

Taal Sardie:

To the nails.

Ricardo Rabines:

To the nail. Then we sort of narrow it down to the midpoint and we find that we’re ground.

Taal Sardie:

Yes.

Amber Anderson:

Is there anything cool that’s on the horizon that you guys are working on here locally? I know you guys aren’t just in San Diego, you’ve got some pretty impressive pieces all over the US but what’s next for you guys?

Taal Sardie:

Well, we’re completing several projects in construction at UCFC and actually three, which are really exciting. And then we’ve been doing quite a lot of multifamily housing.

Ricardo Rabines:

Well, we have a place in Las Vegas, and we’re finishing a project in Bentonville, Arkansas, and we are finishing a library in San Francisco area and then what else?

Taal Sardie:

And a courthouse in El Centro.

Amber Anderson:

Wow. Very cool. All different kinds of things.

Taal Sardie:

I know. Very different, which makes it fun and interesting.

Amber Anderson:

What would you say to the new owners that are going to buy this house?

Taal Sardie:

We hope that they enjoy it as much as the owners of the previous, these owners today. I mean, I think that they really enjoyed it there. They made the most of it and we hope that the next owners enjoy it just as much.

Amber Anderson:

You guys have truly been great to share a little bit of time with me. I get so excited when I get a property that has the status of somebody such as yourself, who actually had their hands in creating this because it just helps with … and like I said, I want to shed the light, not on just this house, but on also you, because you’re a big part of it. I wish you both continued success because it’s amazing to have you guys here in San Diego because you guys are truly icons for our city. But more than anything, I appreciate you taking the time and I will make sure everything I can do to help support you. You guys deserve it because you’ve got a pretty cool resume I have to say.

Ricardo Rabines:

Vice versa.

Taal Sardie:

Yeah, exactly.

Ricardo Rabines:

Thank you to the new owners. Let’s not forget that we’d like to be invited to the party.

Amber Anderson:

Very good point. Well, we’ll hopefully be having one of those. I mean, all things considered, that was one of the big things of really showcasing the lifestyle here. As you know, you’ve been to some of the parties, et cetera, but there’ll be back one day.

Taal Sardie:

We’ll be coming.

Amber Anderson:

Wonderful. Well, thank you both so much.

Ricardo Rabines:

Thank you.

Amber Anderson:

I really appreciate it. And I will be in touch soon.

Taal Sardie:

Right. Very nice to meet you.

Ricardo Rabines:

Bye.

Taal Sardie:

Bye.

Amber Anderson:

Same here you guys. Bye.

 

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