The latest issue of Architectural Digest is all about neighbors. Not the borrowing-a-cup-of-sugar kind. Instead, think sharing a world-renowned architect to build a pair of neighboring beach retreats in Michael Meldman's El Dorado gated community. Although similar in sprawl and dramatic, streamlined looks, Casa Clooney and Casa Crawford-Gerber are different enough to suit the residents of each.
Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber, along with George Clooney, decided to build neighboring vacation homes several years ago. Gerber and Clooney, who have been friends for more than two decades, were on vacation with other friends in the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja peninsula when they struck upon the idea of building an oceanfront getaway that would be convenient for all. The initial concept was to build one megacompound that would be large enough for both Clooney as well as Crawford and Gerber, who have school-aged son and daughter. But that idea was scraped in favor of constructing two stand-alone structures.
“It’s just nice at the end of the night to have your own place to go back to,” Gerber says in the article, while Crawford adds, “Our lives go back and forth. We’ll have cocktails at our place and dinner at George’s, and vice versa.”
The properties were designed by the legendary firm of Ricardo Legorreta, along with his son Victor. Ricardo died in 2011, two years after the homes were completed. Clooney let Gerber and Crawford take the design lead on the pair of projects, although in the article he adds, “I wanted something that would blend in, something indigenous that would feel in harmony with the setting.”
And judging from the photos of the indoor/outdoor homes, which mix board expanses of cement plaster with more organic-feeling wood details, it was mission accomplished for the ultimate Mexican hideaway.