Renowned architect’s La Jolla ties are ‘fabulous’
by Kendra Hartmann
Aug 02, 2013 | 2158 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bill Georgis’ home overlooking La Jolla required a lot of work — but it turned into a work of art. Courtesy
Bill Georgis’ home overlooking La Jolla required a lot of work — but it turned into a work of art. Courtesy
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The home’s living room features tea-papered ceilings, lanterns designed by Georgis, art deco furniture and original artwork on the walls. 	Courtesy
The home’s living room features tea-papered ceilings, lanterns designed by Georgis, art deco furniture and original artwork on the walls. Courtesy
slideshow
Architect and designer Bill Georgis has said he hears one phrase most often from clients: “Just make it fabulous.”

In a retrospective monograph of 18 of his projects from recent years, Georgis did just that. “Make It Fabulous: The Architecture and Designs of William T. Georgis,” released by Monacelli Press in June, showcases Georgis’ eclectic style — which he says is more a reflection of his clients than himself.

“Ideally, each project looks different, and the reason is that we’re careful about listening to clients,” he said. “I try to make a place for them in the world that suits them.”

With a background in art history, Georgis delved into architecture in the 1980s and has built a name — and quite a name, at that — on his interpretation of gesamtkunstwerk, which he defines, for his purposes, as the integration of architecture, interior design, decoration and landscape.

“Each project is a total work of art, from the outside in and from large to small details,” he said. “I always try to reinforce the larger architectural idea and incorporate as much as I can in a project. It has to be meaningful on a daily basis to [the clients].”

Though much of his work is centered in New York (where he is based), Georgis counts on his list of favorite projects his own private home in La Jolla. Featured in the new book, the house, Georgis said, underwent an extensive rebirth, during which he demolished “unsympathetic” additions, reconfigured the interior space and, when the home re-emerged as a modernist work of art, christened it “The Akropolis.”

The home is a testament to Georgis’ attention to detail. A library paneled in olive-colored cerused ash wood, specially commissioned murals by artist Kim MacConnel, sand-colored Ultrasuede walls and — perhaps the home’s most consistent conversation starter — bullet-riddled mirrors in the powder room are only a few of its one-of-a-kind features.

The mirrors, which Georgis brought out to a range in Ramona and shot himself, were inspired by one of his oft-recurring themes — old Hollywood.

“I had this idea. The concept was of an aging starlet going into a powder room and, seeing her reflection, becoming enraged and shooting out the mirrors,” he said.

“Make It Fabulous” features in eye-catching detail the La Jolla home, along with Georgis’ other impossibly opulent projects, including beach homes, summer mansions, a Chinese restaurant and a seven-story, 12,000-square-foot townhome on New York City’s Upper East Side.

“With every project, I take a very different approach,” he said. “I always look to the local culture, and the variations in locations are what makes it interesting. That’s the beauty of it — you have more freedom and space outside of a city, but working within existing buildings, as in New York, the constrained conditions and limitations become inspiring.”

“Make It Fabulous” is available from Monacelli Press for $50. For more information on Georgis, visit williamtgeorgis.com.
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