Look Inside Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s Modernist Masterpiece

published Nov 3, 2021
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Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz are living the dream inside “Dreamland.” That’s what the famed singer and the music producer refer to their modernist mansion, an architectural marvel originally known as Razor House. Perched on a cliff in La Jolla, Calif., the nearly 11,000-square-foot residence overlooking the Pacific Ocean is where the couple and their two kids, Egypt and Genesis, call home. They opened their doors to Architectural Digest, and we’re already craving a ride in one of their three Ferraris. 

Swizz Beatz (real name: Kasseem Dean) believes he “low-key manifested” owning the property, which he set as the photo for his phone’s screen saver for eight years. But he wasn’t so sure that devout New Yorker Keys would go along with life on the West Coast. “She’s Miss New York,” Dean said. “They might as well make a sculpture of her the [new] Statue of Liberty.” But after spending a “date weekend” exploring the estate, Keys was in. 

Built in 2007, the house is a cantilevered structure boasting floor-to-ceiling glass, white concrete, courtyards, and floating staircases. (It’s even rumored to be the inspiration for Tony Stark’s house in the “Iron Man” movies.) When it came to making the interior theirs when they moved in in 2019, Dean recruited interior designer Kelly Behun via Instagram. The couple wanted to make the home family-friendly, despite its sharp edges and futuristic vibe. 

“There are many designers who know how to put expensive things into your house, but the soul is missing,” he said. “Kelly has soul.”

Filled with sculpture and art, the home resembles a piece of art itself. 

“Every wall in this house, every bit of it, is sculpture,” said Dean. 

The circular living room, which overlooks the cliffs and waterfront from its wall of windows, is filled with plush couches and a circular silk rug. The formal dining room continues into the family room, where a tufted sectional sofa wrapped in velvet is tucked behind a coffee table sculpted out of an Albizia tree trunk. 

“We mix the spaces together, you know?” said Keys. “The formal dining room is in the family room.” The family loves to watch TV and doze off on the couch in the space, which is filled with several pieces from their massive art collection. 

Continue up the sweeping, floating staircase that encircles one end of the circular living room. Upstairs, the library/piano room is home to the Steinway & Sons baby grand piano that was Keys’s first, gifted from her record label that signed her at 16 years old. (It sits under a Basquiat, of course.) Now, the couple’s son Egypt practices there.

“My son gets to play on my first piano,” Keys shared. The room is filled with warm colors to intentionally contrast with the colder vibe of the home.

Also upstairs is the primary bedroom, which features a similar wall of glass. In front of it, a pair of vintage shearling chairs sit, creating a cozy relaxation spot. There’s also a guest wing overlooking the pool and ocean. 

One of the most unique spaces in the home is the subterranean garage and adjoining lounge, which features three Ferraris and a recording studio. 

“I don’t call it a man cave, because me and my wife share the space equally,” said Dean. “We call it the grown-up floor.”

The couple is known for throwing a house party or two, and they love to have guests embrace the comfort of the space. 

We want you to feel loved, to feel safe, to feel relaxed,” said Keys. “We want you to have a great meal. We want you to feel inspired.”

Check out more of the couple’s home on Architectural Digest’s website or in the December issue of the magazine.