Beverly Hills Architect Inspired by Nature

The mid-afternoon sun shines through the floor-to-ceiling windows at the Oak Pass residence, a spacious and airy home resembling a modernist box. The stillness of the interior is pierced by gentle steps and lively conversation between Beverly Hills-based architect Gerhard Heusch and a visiting friend. He is taking me on a tour of the 3,500-square-foot home that he built in 2000. Heusch recalls the first time that he saw the property he immediately felt its good vibes and positive energy. The location was perfect, but the city of Beverly Hills required a fifteen-foot setback for all of the hillside residents. Undeterred, Heusch implemented a graceful solution to circumvent the restriction and built ten narrow columns to raise the sleek home fourteen feet above the ground. The rooms flow seamlessly from the dining and living spaces to the kitchen. Heusch created invisible walls between the rooms by playing on shadows and light, blending them in harmony with the natural surroundings. The result is his dream house that appeals to his love of nature, simplicity, and serenity.

“Design is an expression of our time and culture. I aspire to design spaces that elevate the living experience,” says Heusch, the founder of Heusch Inc., a Beverly Hills architecture firm with offices in Paris and Buenos Aires. Born in Germany, Heusch attended school in Belgium and later graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.

“For me, architecture is a collaborative process revolving around my clients’ needs and their aspirations,” says Heusch. His architectural career began with him working in Paris, and later on he moved to Los Angeles. After working at the prominent Dworsky Architecture firm, Heusch launched his own firm in 1991.

He is known for designing modern homes with beguilingly warm minimalist interiors that embrace and respect the natural environment. Aside from his many local projects, such as an 11,000 square-foot residence in Beverly Hills and a 40,000-square-foot, three-story retail building in West Hollywood, Heusch attracts clients from all over the world. His clients include art patrons, producers, retailers such as Chopard and Escada, luxury hotels, and restaurants from Europe, West Africa, Asia, and South America.

His designs are driven by his passion, his travels, and his creativity while incorporating his clients’ preferences. The most important common denominator in all of his design projects is his love of nature. These elements inspire what Heusch does on a project, he explains as we are sitting in a newly added 1,500-square-foot studio space that he built on the lower level of his house–to avoid the ever-present LA traffic. With a roster of international clients, his fluency in four languages has certainly been an asset. One afternoon, while he was driving on the 405 freeway, Heusch was weaving in and out of traffic in an attempt to get home sooner. He made several business calls via the car speaker phone speaking in both French and English. On another call, Heusch switched to Spanish, a language that he learned when he spent time in Argentina renovating a beautiful historic French-colonial building in 2006. He transformed it into a luxury boutique hotel called the Algodon Mansion, which is located in the toney Recoletta district of Buenos Aires. Heusch fell in love with the city and stayed for five years to work on other projects, including the Algodon Wine Estates in Mendoza.

In nearly 30 years in practice, Heusch has garnered a diverse roster of impressive architectural projects. Among his favorite designs is his own home surrounded by oak trees on a quiet hillside in Beverly Hills.