It wasn’t so long ago that panic rooms were thought of as little more than a plot line for a Jodi Foster film or an expensive eccentricity of the paranoid. No more. Nowadays, increasing numbers of homeowners are spending big bucks to have panic rooms, safe cores and other sorts of high-tech security systems installed in their home to ensure their family and possessions are kept safe from intrepid intruders and other calamitous events. One residence, located high in the hills above Los Angeles, goes several steps further than a simple but effective panic room. The lavish and luxurious appointments of the sky-high mansion discreetly hide and disguise a security system so tight that it just may be the safest house in the world.
The modern-day fortress was designed and built in 2002 by Al V. Corbi, a renowned authority on residential and yacht security. Corbi’s stock in trade is designing integrated systems with detection, deterrence, defensive and offensive options. The heavily fortified and super secure residence occupies an easily defended promontory with 360-degree views. The well-defended dwelling stands five stories tall, measures almost 8,000 square feet and includes 32 rooms that all sit atop a virtually impenetrable batcave-like garage that will hold six, preferably armored, cars.
When not aiding the defense and security of its occupants, the fortress-like home functions like any other well-appointed mansion with deluxe creature comforts such as an elevator for whisking folks from the garage level to the living levels, a gourmet kitchen with granite counter tops and commercial grade appliances, two offices, a wine cellar and a home theater.
The home’s real luxury is, of course, the ensured safety of its inhabitants. Should an intruder manage to breach the extensive exterior security measures that include comprehensive surveillance abilities, there are two hidden panic rooms and two architecturally invisible “safe cores.” The safe cores consist of entire sections of the residence that can be isolated from the rest of the home and where the homeowner can retreat in complete safety – not to mention luxury – from an outside threat that might include an intruder, a natural disaster or even a nuclear, biological or chemical attack. The homeowner declined to discuss some of the specifics of the heavy-duty security set up out of obvious concern that it could compromise the overall system. This means they’re not going to tell this writer or anyone else but the next owner that the property is equipped with semi-automatic weaponry that can be remotely controlled from the panic room(s). It may not be, but then again, maybe it is.
In addition to the handicap-accessible guest suite, the seriously safe house has five bedrooms and eight bathrooms including a master suite with panoramic views, a fireplace, a luxurious bathroom and a custom-fitted dressing room that would satisfy any clothes horse with a penchant for high-powered security systems.
The sprawling and tiled terrace on the roof takes full advantage of the 360-degree views that include Mount Baldy, the Palos Verdes Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean. There is also a built-in barbecue center and a spa situated under the heliport designed for emergency evacuations in the event of a home intrusion or for fire emergencies.
While it can be tough to put a price of the safety and security of one’s family, in this case the tab is $7.25 million. For more information and details on the safest house in the world, contact Bob Hurwitz (310)477-8865 at the Hurwitz James Company in Beverly Hills, Calif. Photos Courtesy of the Hurwitz James Company