Charles and Henry Greene achieved their ideal of fully-integrated architecture, interior design, and landscape with this residence designed for David and Mary Gamble of the Procter and Gamble Company.
Sited on a high knoll overlooking the Arroyo Seco with views of the San Gabriel mountain range, the house nestles into the earth, softened by rolling terraced lawns punctuated by a gently curving driveway. Multiple porches open the indoor spaces into the garden and the wider landscape.
Borrowing from various traditions, the firm used stepping stones in the Japanese manner, clinker brick, and local Arroyo boulders for walls, and deep red mission tiles for porch floors. A wooden torii gate with hand-forged iron latch and hinges relates to iron strapping tying the giant porch beams together. A koi pond on the rear terrace provides the welcome sound of trickling water in a naturally arid climate.
Although the architectural elements and the general setting have been carefully preserved, little of the original plant material remains. Building on the successful recent restoration of the house’s exterior, a program to restore the garden is underway, once again integrating house and nature into a unified design. The site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977.