Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s Art-Filled Modernist Home

Razor House, the stunning cliffside mansion by architectural designer Wallace E. Cunningham in La Jolla, California, has alternately been described as a “magnum opus,” an “architectural masterpiece,” and “America’s coolest home.” But since purchasing the modernist gem in 2019, Grammy Award–winning singer Alicia Keys and her husband, renowned music producer Kasseem Dean (a.k.a. Swizz Beatz), have preferred to call the home where they and their two sons, Egypt and Genesis, now reside “Dreamland.” Explaining the name, Keys says the expansive, nearly 11,000-square-foot residence, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is rumored to be the inspiration for Tony Stark’s futuristic bachelor pad in the Iron Man movies, is

“a place to create dreams and to be bold enough to dream your wildest dream – for us to even be here is a wildest dream.”

Cunningham: “Every wall in this house, every bit of it, is sculpture. These beautiful S shapes, these chevrons going down the hillside, curvatures flying in space over your head. It’s more akin to sculpture than architecture. / it’s nothing like you would imagine. When you look at a home like this, you think people are living in it stiffly—they’re not. They’re running around enjoying themselves. They are not intimidated by this place at all.”

Dean and Keys’s art collection, amassed over 20 years and totaling more than 1,000 works, is as extensive as it is enviable. According to Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, “Alicia and Kasseem see themselves not only as collectors of art but as custodians of the culture.” She continues, “Over the years, I’ve watched their collection develop as their vision has widened and expanded to create a collection that really represents the breadth and depth of the work being made by Black artists.” Dean, a member of the board of the Brooklyn Museum, and Keys also collect to be in close community with fellow creatives. “I love that 90 percent of the art in the house is by artists who are now our friends,” Dean boasts. “We’ve broken bread with them, they’ve partied at our house, they’ve spent the night. It’s not transactional for us.”

Alicia Keys: “When you hear a song or something we’ve produced, the foundation is to make people feel good and feel loved. That’s what our art is about. And “when you come into our home, that’s exactly what we want you to feel. We want you to feel loved, to feel safe, to feel relaxed. We want you to have a great meal. We want you to feel inspired.”