The Jonathan

written by:
photos by:
March 17, 2009
Originally published in Urban Renaissance

Tired of waiting for innovative architecture to come to San Diego, this proactive architect added developer to his job description, and brought it there himself.

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  Segal’s urban-infill units (like the Titan shown here) eschew typical features like dysfunctional balconies and underground garages.
    Segal’s urban-infill units (like the Titan shown here) eschew typical features like dysfunctional balconies and underground garages.
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  Architect and developer Jonathan Segal's “convertible units” are one-bedroom rental apartments with hydraulic lifts in their single-car garages, which allow two cars to be parked in one space.
    Architect and developer Jonathan Segal's “convertible units” are one-bedroom rental apartments with hydraulic lifts in their single-car garages, which allow two cars to be parked in one space.
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  Jonathan and Wendy Segal on their master bedroom deck.
    Jonathan and Wendy Segal on their master bedroom deck.
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  The street-facing façade. “We’re the developer, contractor, superintendent,” Segal explains. “We’re trying to go back to when the architect was the master builder and controlled everything. If I knew how to do plumbing and pour concrete, I’d do that too.”
    The street-facing façade. “We’re the developer, contractor, superintendent,” Segal explains. “We’re trying to go back to when the architect was the master builder and controlled everything. If I knew how to do plumbing and pour concrete, I’d do that too.”
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  Segal designed the kitchen cabinets. The oven and cooktop are by Gaggenau; the sink is by Franke.
    Segal designed the kitchen cabinets. The oven and cooktop are by Gaggenau; the sink is by Franke.
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  In the humidor-like living room, modern classics like the off-white armchairs by Hans Wegner complement pieces of Segal’s own design, such as the coffee table and long leather seating.
    In the humidor-like living room, modern classics like the off-white armchairs by Hans Wegner complement pieces of Segal’s own design, such as the coffee table and long leather seating.
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  The industrial aesthetic of the Segals’ lounge area is softened by a white shag rug and the generous sunlight that streams through its ceiling of thick glass. The seating is by Paul Kjaerholm.
    The industrial aesthetic of the Segals’ lounge area is softened by a white shag rug and the generous sunlight that streams through its ceiling of thick glass. The seating is by Paul Kjaerholm.
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  Upstairs, the clutter-free bedrooms of Segal’s teenagers reflect their father’s less-is-more ethos.
    Upstairs, the clutter-free bedrooms of Segal’s teenagers reflect their father’s less-is-more ethos.
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  Apart from being visually stunning, the reflecting pool just outside of the living room also acts a sound barrier—the gurgling water cancels out traffic noise.
    Apart from being visually stunning, the reflecting pool just outside of the living room also acts a sound barrier—the gurgling water cancels out traffic noise.
  • 
  Matthew sets about finishing his latest knitting project while lounging on furniture of his dad’s design. A sound system and lighting by Halo are recessed into the ceiling.
    Matthew sets about finishing his latest knitting project while lounging on furniture of his dad’s design. A sound system and lighting by Halo are recessed into the ceiling.
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