Remixed in Redondo
- Written bySuzanna Cullen
“Pop the Champagne … Pat’s here!” exclaims rock musician Jonathan Valen when architect Pat Killen walked into the house. “Pat’s a genius,” continues Jonathan, as he greets him with open arms and a big smile. Jonathan is one of the former drummers associated with the heavy metal rock band Judas Priest, while Pat is a renowned architect and founder of Studio 9 one 2 in the South Bay. At first glance, they are a complete juxtaposition: both of the Valens are tall with long black hair and clothed in rocker black, while Pat wears trim gray hair and oversized glasses that ooze sophistication. Jonathan has made his career in an industry that values loud, flamboyant behavior and pushing musical boundaries, while Pat is immersed in the quiet, academic study and creation of contemporary architecture. However, the Valens and Pat Killen share an enormous appreciation and respect for each other’s creative talents.
Jonathan Valen and his wife, Rita, decided to tear down their former home after 10 years of remodeling attempts. Rita had been a long-time admirer of Pat Killen’s work in the South Bay. Upon hiring Pat, the Valens asked him to create “a home that’s open for frequent entertaining with a sound and recording studio but is very peaceful when empty—and all on a very controlled budget.”
Pat acknowledges that it was one of his most challenging projects from a financial perspective, but one of his most fulfilling from a creative standpoint. “It’s easy to create a fantastic home when money is not a factor, but when there is a budget, it forces creativity,” he remarks.
Encased in concrete and azure blue glass, the exterior is that of a soothing, contemporary home. Inside, the house is a mix of materials both modern and sophisticated yet budget friendly. Floors alternate between rich mahogany colored hardwoods, textured gray porcelain tiles and poured concrete. From the European wall-hung toilets to sim- ple white sinks with chrome faucets, the bathrooms are a study in restrained elegance. Jonathan loves to cook, so the beautifully constructed stainless steel cabinets in the kitchen are topped with elegant, honed Caesarstone.
Other than a long dining table and 10 chairs, the main living area is void of furniture, so the entire space is available for frequent, open entertaining. Walls of windows offer sweeping views of the city of Torrance. A suspended, revolving, stainless steel fireplace anchors the space yet permits heat directed to any area of the house.
It is an area that is visually quiet when empty but offers optimal flow when filled with guests. As Rita states, “The people become the art and furnishings.”
The heart of the Valen residence is tucked away slightly below ground level. Involved in both the music and television industries, Jonathan created a home recording and sound studio where he collaborates with many bands and musicians. He is currently working on the new Black Sabbath album, and he is scheduled to tour with the band this summer.
After a career in fashion, Rita is now in real estate in the South Bay area. Tall and dressed in black Prada, she is a study of cutting-edge, rock ‘n’ roll, high fashion. The Valens are committed to raising money for The Sunshine Kids, a non-profit foundation dedicated to cancer research for children. Together they are a very creative couple whose appreciation for innovative design, raw talent and valuable contributions continues to unite them after 20 years of marriage.
The Valen home is Jonathan’s first home after many years on the road as a musician; however, it is clear that this will be his home forever. Whether used for promoting the music industry, entertaining friends or raising money for charities, the Valen home is frequently filled with the laughter of fun parties and fond memories.
Perfect home for a family who enjoys indoor-outdoor coastal living. Listing Agent: Gordon Inman
Since 1936, members of lifeguard services throughout Southern California have gathered at sunset for the Judge Irving Taplin Medley Relay. Under special lights near the Hermosa Beach Pier, these friendly competitors test their endurance in a race that consists of two runners, four swimmers, four paddlers, one surf ski paddler and four two-person dories. The result: 40-minutes of pure adrenaline and sustained excitement … pushing even the fittest lifeguard to his or her physical limits. This year, a team from Victoria, Australia competed against our lifeguards. the winning team, LA County Central Section “A,” got the honor of holding the “Taplin Bell” perpetual trophy until the following year’s race.