David Applebaum is an award-winning pro architect. David is known for his work on multi-million dollar homes in some of the most prestigious neighborhoods and commercial properties with Hollywood’s top entertainment companies including Virgin Records America Inc, Quincy Jones Entertainment, and many more! Read below our exclusive interview with David Applebaum:
Q: Where are you originally from?
David Applebaum – A: I was born in Houston Texas. I think I was attracted to Los Angeles because (ok who would not want to live where the weather every day is one of hope and joy?) it also held the allure of the western ethic with wide-open spaces and the ability to make one’s dreams come true if you had the talent and worked very hard.
Q: David, you are known to be one of the top luxury and commercial architects in California! What would you say drew you to architecture and what inspires you to be the best in your profession?
David Applebaum – A: It is more than just liking to create. It also must have meaning and purpose. I like to imagine the family enjoying themselves in my home… cooking, playing, learning, and loving each other. I like to think of the rock star walking into the record company feeling comfortable, inspired, important, and wanting to do even better work. I do this by thinking about everything from a poetic perspective. For instance, what most people call a door knob, I call a handshake that welcomes you into a new space. There is always a story and my clients get to create theirs with me. I am not sure if there is anything more inspiring than that.
Q: Working with commercial clients to multi-million dollar rich, powerful and famous residents can be exciting and hard work all in one! How would you summarize your daily work activities?
David Applebaum – A: Don’t forget about the glass garage floating over the hillside. It is a home for the Porsche collection that is both home for these special cars and museum space at the same time. Yes, there is paperwork and research, permitting and plumbing… but it’s also very playful. I not only sketch but I build models of everything I design. We live in a three-dimensional world so, besides a pencil and my computer, I design with cardboard and glue. The best thing about being an architect is that if I get stumped on one idea or drawing, I do not have to be frustrated. I can simply work on another drawing, a new perspective, a different sketch, build a model or call my client and ask “if I could make any dream come true, what would that be?”.
Q: Can you share with us your top 3 favorite projects you’ve worked on?
David Applebaum – A: That is a smarter question than you might imagine. When people ask me what my favorite project is, I usually answer “my next one”. We call our profession a “practice” of architecture because we are always working to get the works to be better and better. But you asked for 3. In the end, my projects are an expression of the client’s life so the answer is not just the building but the relationship with the client. So the first idea in my head is how amazing it was to work with and make Frank Sinatra happy. I actually worked on 3 things for him but my memories of the process, getting to know who he really was and creating the expression of who he was as a man, an artist, a friend, and a host was an experience I will never forget. I also designed a house in Bel Air that is more of an art gallery with bedrooms. We do periodic updates as the collection grows or the client’s mood changes and I am still awestruck every time I experience the artful collection and spaces. But only 3? That seems unfair as they are all like my family and I love them all. If I were to limit it to just one more, I might mention the very first house I designed. Built on time and on budget with clients who used to go to the Beverly Hills Hotel once a month as a getaway but instead just sent the kids to the grandparents and indulge at home. But even more special was that I loved the neighborhood it was in so much I promised myself that one day, I would move close by so I did.
Q: On a much more personal note, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
David Applebaum – A: Be with my friends and loved ones. Life is beautiful, but even more so with the special people in my life. And if I get to cook for them? That’s my other creative passion.
Q: If this were just you and I, with hours to chat what might I ask you?
David Applebaum – A: Well, it could be designing Frank Sinatra’s train room or a Powder Room for the Queen. Better yet, getting lost my first week in LA and was rescued by Gene Wilder. I’ve got a lot of really wonderful stories from a really wonderful life.
Q: How would you explain your year so far in one word?
David Applebaum – A: Unexpected (in a very, very good way)
Q: Are you working on anything interesting right now?
David Applebaum – A: Many of my projects come with NDA’s so without going into any detail; this week I’m visiting job sites in Beverly Hills, Bel Air, and Malibu. I am remodeling a beach house I designed 20 years ago when my client had kids that were small. Now the kids are grown and we are expanding for grandchildren. And while I am designing a very modern library for a rare collection of art and first editions, I am also working another something special for Seth Green and his wife Clare. They are so fun and creative and really push the boundaries. The work is stunningly smart and stylish… AND can transform from what looks like a very ordinary house to something akin to an amusement park ride with a wink. I cannot tell you all of the fun things that we have created but not many other clients ask for an Indiana Jones rope bridge, zip lines, and a game house. The work can be challenging but I really enjoy making my client’s aspirations come to life, and it sure is fun.
Q: What are your official sites on the web we can follow?
David Applebaum – A: Look for David Applebaum Architect on Instagram and Facebook. And of course – www.davidapplebaum.com