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Location, Location, Location

Unspoiled Pacific views in a rehabbed midcentury La Jolla classic.

Longtime San Diego architect Doug Austin has more than a few prestige credits under his belt, not the least of which was his appointment by the city’s mayor to oversee the design and construction of the San Diego Padres’ home, Petco Park.
And Austin’s latest high-profile undertaking? Designing a renovation project that recently went on the market at the highest-ever asking price for a condominium in San Diego County history – $10.1 million.
“I mean, it’s 400 feet from away from one of the most gorgeous ocean views on the West Coast.” Doug Austin, principal, AVRP Studios
Muse La Jolla
This giant moving wall of glass offers unrivaled views of the Pacific Ocean.
The project, which got underway nearly a year ago, is called Muse La Jolla. When completed, its 16 loft-like luxury units will reside in a 50-year-old, four-story building that formerly housed law firms, financial advisers, and an art gallery.
Muse La Jolla
Huge expanses of glass let in tons of natural Southern California light.
So what’s so special about them to fetch such a high asking price? Changes made in city law after the building’s erection assure that no new construction in the area can exceed 30 feet in height, meaning the ocean views from the four penthouse condos’ balconies and private rooftop terraces will never be obstructed.
“We knew the goal was to do something special with Muse,” says Austin, principal at AVRP Studios in San Diego. “I mean, it’s 400 feet from away from one of the most gorgeous ocean views on the West Coast.”
Muse La Jolla
The condo's open floor plan is perfect for letting ocean breeze course through the space when the doors are open.
The architect says one of the reasons his firm took on the project was the city’s interest in the historical preservation of the International Style of design of the original building. He and his firm wanted to transport the old Prospect Center, as it was called, into the 21st century without destroying the original design. That meant cleaner lines and maximizing La Jolla’s abundant natural light.
Muse La Jolla
A large multi-slide door in the bedroom opens the room to the outside.
“One of the key elements to that was Western Window Systems products,” Austin says of the Series 600 Multi-Slide Doors and Series 600 Window Walls that appear in the condos. “We wanted to bring the outdoors inside. That was one of our key goals: minimizing the amount of obstruction to view with big expanses of glass and thinner mullions, which you didn’t have 50 years ago.”
Austin also cites the slim profile and easy operating system of the giant multi-slides, which come in three- to five-panel sizes (creating up to an 80-foot opening) depending on the unit.
“I was happy to get more floor-to-ceiling glass and more flexibility with the operable sash.” Doug Austin, principal, AVRP Studios
Muse La Jolla
The bathroom also features a tall sliding glass door.
“They’re pretty cool,” he says. “The product met our design goals, and I was happy to get more floor-to-ceiling glass with them and more flexibility with the operable sash.”
Coupled with 10- to 12-foot ceilings and open floor plans, the huge walls of glass (supplied by San Diego dealer Picture Perfect Windows and Doors in the units allow tons of Southern California sunshine and cool Pacific Ocean breezes to course through the penthouse condos, which come in two- or three-bedroom and 2.5- or 3.5-bathroom sizes. Also featured in the units are smart-home appliances by Miele, eucalyptus wood finishes and marble countertops, steam showers, and walk-in wine coolers. And they come with three-car garages and a 24-hour concierge service.

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