Razor House in La Jolla: Alicia Keys, Details of the Home & More

Razor House in La Jolla

Look! Up in the sky! Is it a modern masterpiece? Is it a sculpture? An opulent home? In truth, it’s all of these things and more. The Razor House in La Jolla is a famous landmark for its breath-stopping elegance, ingenious design, and it has become a legend in La Jolla since its rise to fame in 2007. In addition, the distinctive home has been featured in Calvin Klein and Visa Black Card commercials, further establishing the Razor house as a sophisticated figure of prestige and luxury in La Jolla.

What to Know About the Razor House

The Razor house in San Diego enjoys a well-deserved reputation of status and influence amid all the other incredible homes in La Jolla. It was conceptualized and designed by world-renowned, award-winning architect Wallace Cunningham. The house is cantilevered from the La Jolla bluffs and it’s made primarily of ivory-hued, polished concrete with elegant floor-to-ceiling glass panels, giving it the appearance of gracefully emerging from the rugged, invigorating landscape.

The Razor House in La Jolla stands on a .77 acre cliffside lot initially considered unstable and unviable for construction. Thankfully, Cunningham had better ideas. The ever-inventive architect was blown away by the majestic views of the ocean amidst the golden bluffs and set to manifest his vision of a masterful home that embraces the stunning radiance of the coastal terrain. After a few weeks of creative brainstorming, Cunningham concocted a gravity-defying, monumental design showcasing the resplendent bluffs that cascade to the mesmerizing, moody Pacific ocean.

The Razor House is unlike any other. Every aspect of the home is custom-made and exclusively designed to celebrate Southern California’s exquisite natural beauty. With its bespoke ocean views seen from every area in the home to its fluid, minimalist design, this house is the epitome of style, grace, and luxury.

Who Owns the Razor House?


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The first Razor house La Jolla owner was Don Cooksey, who sold the house to Donald Burns in 2011. Today, it’s known as the Alicia Keys Razor house after the singer-songwriter, composer purchased it in 2019.

The 38-year-old Keys earned her esteemed celebrity status ever since landing her first record deal with Columbia Records at the young age of 15. She has gone on to win 15 Grammy awards and served as a coach on the popular television show “The Voice.” Keys is also well-regarded for her philanthropic causes and charitable work as the ambassador of Keep a Child Alive. 

Keys and her hip-hop music producer husband, Swizz Beatz, initially sought a home in the Beverly Hills area. However, when mega-million real-estate agents Josh and Matthew Altman steered them in the San Diego area, the couple fell in love with the timeless yet modern-art home amongst sweeping, panoramic views. 

At the time of purchase, the Razor house price was 20.8 million, which is 9.2 million less than the asking price. Additionally, the dynamic duo is experiencing La Jolla as a new home location. They have never owned property in this area previously and have no evident ties to La Jolla.

Where is the Razor House Located in La Jolla?

In an affluent, gated community, the Razor house La Jolla address is 9826 La Jolla Farms Road.  The home nestles in sun-kissed bluffs studded with rustic sage, fragrant pines, and perky cacti that bloom in the spring.   The house’s rocky cliffs exude wild, rugged energy, and the ocean view is hypnotic as it is revitalizing.  

This masterpiece home takes advantage of golden sandstone scenes, jagged terrain, and stellar ocean vistas. The area boasts breezes from Black’s Beach, to which the new Razor house owner has private access.  The landscape surrounding the house is panoramic bliss for all the senses and refreshing to the soul.     

A Hard Sell

Previous owner and telecommunications mogul Donald Burns adhered to savvy financial tips for home owners La Jolla by making significant improvements to the home. However, when he first bought it in 2011, the home’s construction was not fully completed. So Burns contacted the home’s architect, Wallace Cunningham, to finalize the look and feel of the house with finishing touches and additional custom refinements that took the Razor house in La Jolla to the glamorous next level we see today.

Burns had the entire estate wired, making it an ultimate smart home.  State-of-the-art technology controls lighting, music, air conditioning, and electric window shades, all easily navigated by an iPad. Additionally, aesthetic touches were added, such as a custom-made Ralph Lauren pool table and a sleek circular sofa in the main living room.

Despite the cosmetic improvements, the house sat on the market for quite some time before Alicia Keys purchased it. The turning point was when Burns listed the house with the Altman brothers. Once these real-estate experts took over, they sold the house within a week.

Inspiration for Iron Man

Many movie buffs have noticed the Razor house in La Jolla bears a striking resemblance to Tony Stark’s Malibu house in the Iron Man movie. The Razor house from Iron Man might be inspired by the futuristic design but it is not the same as the one perched atop the La Jolla hills. The major distinction from these two domiciles is that the home in the Marvel Comics movie was created with CGI (computer-generated imagery), whereas the Razor house is solic, large and in charge. 

Magnificent Design


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You might think its sharp edges and sheared angles are responsible for the name of this magnificent home. However, the architect named the house after the reminiscent sharp curves found on the Razor Point Trail in the Torrey Pines State Reserve, where the house resides. Just like its namesake, every design aspect of the Razor house of La Jolla memorializes and pays tribute to the majesty of the So Cal scenery and natural wonders.

The estate sumptuously sprawls over a spacious 11,954 square feet (including the underground garage) with a total of six bedrooms, six bathrooms, and two half-baths. Two of these living areas culminate into a distinctive 1,301 square foot guest house that is expertly crafted with as much attention to detail and breathtaking views as the rest of the La Jolla Razor estate. Guests can stay without ever interrupting the rest of the residents as there are separate entries to the carport and separate entrances into the house.

Speaking of guests, the house is dazzlingly decked for deluxe entertainment. The entire home is wrapped around a centralized courtyard where party guests stroll into the serene space illuminated by the amber glow of recessed lighting from the polished concrete steps. The tranquility of this area beckons friends, family, and visitors to gather around the stone gas fire pit as its flames flicker light upon the alabaster-colored monoliths towering in the background.   

The upper levels tout several expansive terraces inviting sunbathers during the day and sky gazers during the crystal clear nights. And for the piece-de-resistance, the substantially roomy rooftop deck with a complete outdoor kitchen allows the Razor house owner and guests to soak in the eye-popping view of the Pacific and surrounding coastline splendor.

For ultimate entertainment, the home has two kitchens, one for open-concept entertaining, and the other is a service kitchen ideal for catering staff or preparations for significant events. Both kitchens sport state-of-the-art appliances such as Gaggenau ovens and cooktops. There is also a wet bar hidden behind a secret panel door and built-in wine cabinets in the family room, which also boasts an 85-inch ultrahigh definition television.

More relaxation and entertainment opportunities are available in the lavish home theatre room, robed with velvet-covered walls and plush floors for optimal acoustics. The circular room is part of the round, ocular motif the home’s design is known for and brings new meaning to surround-sound, full-sensory entertainment experience.

This ocular theme of circular-shaped rooms repeats throughout the home in the master bedroom and the main living room.  Curved glass window panes span ceiling to floor in these uniquely round spaces, rendering the feeling of genuine connection between luxurious indoor living and the pristine natural grandeur outdoors.

As impressive as all this may seem, the Razor house in La Jolla is far from finished with its sublime surprises. The home continues to up the wow factor with four levels of consistently aesthetically attractive features such as: A glistening glass library, two spas, a workout room, and a gleaming glass elevator to transport residents to each floor.

The shining achievement of the Razor house is in its masterful design that crowns mother nature as the ultimate, divine artist without any restrictions. The reflective polished concrete and steep glass panel windows encourage sun-dappled views throughout the entirety of the home. From morning to night, the sunlight penetrates and paints the house from morning to night, applying broad, fiery brushstrokes that make each sight a new canvas of color and brilliance.

The Stylish Attached Garage

The magnificent style of the Razor house in La Jolla continues to impress with the fluid, sleek lines of the underground garage.  When originally built in 2007, San Diego County restricted the height of the house, so the architect redirected and carved out a subterranean 4-car garage.  The entry into the garage is yet another homage to organic architecture as the driver follows a nautilus shell spiral drive to park their automobile.

You don’t have to be a car enthusiast to appreciate the classy attention to detail in this garage. Recessive lighting illuminates against chrome and steel, reflecting like a diamond mine beneath the mansion above. The efficient design of the garage allows powerful punches of natural light to radiate down from square orifices in the concrete perimeter, emitting sunlight within this safe space for autos to have a happy home to rest or rev their engines.  

The Razor Infinity Pool


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Perhaps the magnum opus of the Razor house is found in the thoughtful and skillfully placed infinity pool teetering just over the edge of the immaculate cliff upon which the home serenely rests.  This is a masterful feature registering 5,100 cubic feet of sensual, heated swimming delight. 

 It’s situated superlatively even with the La Jolla hillsides and conjures an optical illusion of perfect meshing and marriage of the terrain. The pool continuously ripples water over the lip of its black tiles in a disappearing act into the landscape that is both soothing and sensational as the reflection of the water splashes against the surrounding surfaces of the Razor home.

A Modern Natural Marvel in La Jolla

The Jewel of San Diego enjoys a plethora of enchanting views and mesmerizing features. The Razor house of La Jolla is among the top unique, scintillating sights in this area.  The architecture, design, and attention to organic space rival most other modern structures and remains a highly esteemed landmark of La Jolla now and for many years to come.  

Razor House Calvin Klein Commercial

The property was famously used in this commercial for Calvin Klein Collection with the tagline, “Modern Elegance, Timeless Luxury”:

Razor House Visa Black Card Commercial

The Razor House was also used in the famous Donna Feldman Visa Black Card commercial, with AC/DC’s “Back in Black” playing in the background: