Nestled high in the Mount Olympus neighborhood of the Hollywood Hills stands the futuristic Hercules Estate, a steel and glass spiral built on a patch of California paradise.
Ideally located in the heart of Los Angeles, this architectural triumph seems worthy of the ancient gods who once called the original Mount Olympus their home.
Although the patrons who frequent the estate may not be named Apollo or Aphrodite, the owner of the property, internet ventures guru Eric Oster, confided that Hollywood stars, Jessica Alba and Pamela Anderson have been recent guests of the property. “Last week, Playboy was here doing a photo shoot and just before that a group of NFL players reserved Hercules for a party,” he says.
“As soon as I set eyes on the property I fell in love. I couldn’t wait to begin constructing the house of my dreams here”
Oster, a Ukrainian-born venture capitalist and designer, has been living in the United States for the past thirty years. He purchased the L.A. estate in 2009, but felt the original building did not adequately incorporate the spectacular landscape, so he knocked it down. In its place, he began building his magnum opus. “As soon as I set eyes on the property,” he says, “I fell in love. Not only does it possess an incredible panorama, but it’s only ten minutes from Sunset Strip. I understood right away why it’s such a coveted piece of real-estate. It was awe-inspiring. I couldn’t wait to begin constructing the house of my dreams here.”
The atmospheric home Oster has created in its place is all about dreams, serving as a feast for the eyes both inside and out. The mirrored, floor-to-ceiling foldaway windows that form the south-facing wall playfully interact with the landscape, creating a seamless continuity between the living area and the terrace. The reflection, Oster explains, highlights the magnificent view that spans from downtown Los Angeles to Newport Beach taking in Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island. “When you are outside and turn away from the view, the same panorama of the city is reflected back at you in the mirrored glass,” he explains.
Oster is not an architect by training, but he’s passionate about the subject and works closely with a number of architects and designers located in Kiev. Although the Hercules Estate is his first American creation, he’s also responsible for the construction of eight luxury apartments back in the Ukraine. “I travel extensively, observing high-end modern architecture, always searching out new elements to incorporate into my designs,” he says. “It’s my vision. The people I work with in the Ukraine are young and innovative and have assisted me in the actualization of my ideas.”
When asked to define the architectural style of the 6000 square foot, ultra modern house that features a theater with a 17-foot wide viewing screen, and a custom made electric blue Italian-style kitchen, Oster answers definitively: “The rounded walls lend the structure a European sensibility, but the design also integrates sharp angles and a stainless steel trim that make it utterly unique.” His voice resonates with pride as he elaborates on his vision. “Even the furniture, Italian chic, has my stamp upon it. Every lamp, table and chair was specifically created by me and my team to complement the interior architecture.”
“Even the furniture, Italian chic, has my stamp upon it. Every lamp, table and chair was specifically created by me and my team to complement the interior architecture”
Wired with smart house technology that allows guests to control the lights and audio/visuals from their smartphone, Oster has included subtle details that make the estate feel like an exclusive hotel. “The master bedroom and a master bath span the entire second floor and have a breathtaking vista that provides you with the illusion that you are flying over the city.” Throw in a Las Vegas style, illuminated waterfall that cascades down one side of the house, a koi pond, infinity pool and hot tub and you’ve got everything the discerning guest could desire.
And should the compulsion to mingle with mere mortals ever strike your fancy, Oster notes that Santa Monica and the iconic Venice Beach are only a half an hour from the estate. “This is L.A. the way it’s meant to be experienced. You’re only a stone’s throw from Sunset Strip and some of the best shopping and dining in the world.” But rest assured, once your adventures in the city come to an end, the Hercules Estate will be waiting to pamper you like a deity as you ascend the Hollywood Hills once more.