Located on 10 acres of oak woodlands near Julian, California, the Ilan-Lael compound encompasses living quarters, studio and gallery spaces, gardens, and a public building for the Ilan-Lael Foundation. Ilan-Lael offers Annual Open House tours to the public in the Spring and Fall as well as Private and Group tours available upon request. The Ilan-Lael Foundation Center is available for retreat and events. Please call our office at 760-765-3427 or email us at infoREMOVE@ilanlaelfoundationREMOVE.org for information on how you can enjoy a custom experience at Ilan-Lael.
This was the first structure on the property and Jim and Anne’s original home. Built using local resources, such as stone cleared from the land, adobe bricks and cedar, this one-room house served as the family home until 1962.
Kitchen & Living Room
Built in 1962 for the Hubbells’ growing family, this structure features mosaic tiles that flow over kitchen countertops, windows and door sills. Cedar floors and ceiling beams are wood reclaimed from the Pines Fire of 2002. Large view windows face west. Reinforced steel and concrete columns inside the adobe walls lend great strength. Furniture is hand-made (the couch and chair in the living room were designed by James Hubbell). Light fixtures inside and out are functional sculptures. Nothing is painted. Hand-forged hardware adorns most of the doors, and sculptural or “found” wood objects function as door knobs.
Master Bedroom/Anne’s Study
This free-form sculptural building was shaped by hand. A local Native American man helped hand-dig the footings that allowed the slope of the land to remain untouched. The flat roof above Anne’s study is a place to enjoy the view and the cool breezes on hot summer nights.
Pool, Hot Tub and Fountain
When the Hubbells’ four sons were small, Anne and Jim asked them which they wanted most: bedroom(s) of their own or a swimming pool. They chose the pool! Constructed in 1970, its dark plaster bottom forms a dramatic backdrop for undulating tile, and is also effective as a passive solar heating element.
This habitable sculpture for the boys was started in the early 1970s. Clay floor tiles feature mosaics of a peacock, firebird, redbird, and a bluebird. Incorporated into the bathroom design are abalone shells, plate glass, and other treasures gifted to the Hubbells by friends.
Added in 2010, solar panels generate about 60% of the electricity used on the property. Funded by a generous grant from Sempra Energy Foundation, the array lightens Ilan-Lael’s energy footprint in consort with Jim’s signature designs for passive heating and cooling already used in the structures.
In 1982, James built this small drafting studio using a metal truss system made of lighter steel. Large south facing window/doors utilize the sun’s warmth for winter heating and admit cooling breezes in summer.
Big Studio and Stained Glass Studio
This large multi-function space, built of a complex web of rebar and plaster wire beneath a sprayed-on cement cloak, broke ground in 1965. Prior to this studio’s completion, James worked outdoors—its completion was a happy change for James!
The walls here are of salvaged adobe and fired brick, and the roof is covered with handmade tile from Tecate, Mexico. “ Kiva” comes from the Hopi kivas, rooms built into the earth. Light tile in the center of the floor brightens the space.
This small gallery looks as if it grew naturally in total harmony with its setting. The room and its treasures are almost completely lit by natural light through clerestory windows.
Created after the Cedar Fire, with help from friends at Camp Stevens in Julian, this gateway garden features raised-bed vegetable gardens, stone-fruit trees and an herb plot.
In the summer of 2009, thirteen students spent 3 weeks constructing the open-air structure, coming back throughout winter and spring to add artistic embellishments. Embraced by its quiet beauty, one can enjoy striking views of sunsets, Palomar Mountain and—from its patio looking east—Volcan Mountain and other Laguna/Cuyamaca peaks.
Major donors to the Ilan-Lael Foundation are honored via this memorial sundial, which charts both the time of day as well as timeless memories of generous donors and loved ones.
Completed in 2019, the Center is the public entry point to the property. Its spaces are used for meetings, workshops, educational programs, and an archive. A patio courtyard doubles as an outdoor gathering/performance space. James’creativity adds enlivening conventional shapes and surfaces. Look for mosaics in unlikely places, relief sculptures on walls and ceilings, and custom doors and window portals. The Ilan-Lael Center is available for Retreats and Events.
Bert Hubbell’s Sculpture Garden
Jim’s younger brother, has lived in Japan for many years. Yet his generosity graces our grounds and art collection. His humorous figures populate this garden and elsewhere on≠ the property.
This residential space for the on-site caretaker was built in 2021.
As it is a private residence it is not open to the public.