When Mike and Alice Glore pull their 2022 McLaren GT sportscar into the garage of their new home on Audubon Place in Destrehan, they park this high-performance beast on a car carousel. Then, with the push of a button, they rotate the car with the carousel so that it’s facing the garage door and ready to hit the road for their next adventure.
By turning the car around in the garage, the Glores were able to build a smaller driveway and devote more of their lot to the house and courtyard patio with a pool and sleek infinity hot tub. Also, there’s no need to worry about backing the car, which costs well into six figures, out into the narrow driveway.
The garage of the new 7,400-square-foot home was built specifically to house the McLaren sportscar, and it seems the house was built around the all-glass garage, because you can spot the "Helios Orange" roadster from almost any room.
“We started looking at modern homes on the Internet and found lots of inspiration,” said Alice Glore, who enjoys driving their 600-horsepower V-8 road rocket on long trips. “We knew that we wanted the garage to be a showroom garage for the McLaren.”
The carousel is in the middle of the garage and looks like a shiny stainless-steel metal disk, about eight feet across and recessed into the floor. It takes about 20 seconds to do a complete turn, and it looks like something found at an international car show slowly spinning ultra-futuristic cars for adoring fans.
Jason D. Maenza, owner of Precision Builders, built the Glores' home. Maenza is an engineer by trade, so building a car turner for a client was both a challenge and a passion. And while it’s certainly not the first home that he’s built, it was his first car turner.
After a lot of research and training, he purchased a car carousel kit from a company called Carturner in southern California and had it shipped to Destrehan. To install the carousel, Maenza poured a recessed slab for the garage, installed the stainless-steel frame, and then poured a second slab around the form.
The disk that the car sits on comes in pie-shaped wedges and must be assembled on site. The outer frame houses six low-voltage motors that turn the disk. Installing the car turner requires particular attention to getting everything level, Maenza said.
“The trickiest part is getting all the elevations right so that it turns evenly,” said Maenza. “It’s a very precise piece of equipment and everything has to fit within a narrow tolerance.”
The car turner cost about $35,000, not including the custom garage with glass walls and a roll-down security door.
The car seems to tie the entire house together, because an exposed ceiling beam on the patio and parts of the Venetian plaster accent wall in the living area, as well as pillows by the pool, are all accented with the same sporty orange color of the car.
When designing a home from scratch, local home builders are always looking to add that extra amenity that will set their homes apart from the rest. One local builder recently added a custom cigar den to a client’s backyard.
Rennard Meade, co-owner of Craftsman Builders, included a 225-square-foot cigar room with vaulted 10-foot ceilings, a fireplace and special ventilation units to keep the air fresh while the owner enjoys custom cigars in his latest home in the Louisiana Trace neighborhood in Kenner.
“The idea was to build a relaxing oasis for my client,” said Meade.
“He wanted a place to hang out at the end of the day with his friends and enjoy cigars, so we built a separate building that has a cozy man-cave feel with big chairs and a large round table in the middle of the room.”
Need to vent?
The fireplace takes center stage with a television mounted above it.
Dark wood floor-to-ceiling bookshelves bracket the fireplace, a custom humidor adorns one wall and custom lighting hanging from the ceiling all contribute to the old-world feel.
All the windows in the room overlook the back yard and automatic shades help keep the room cool and cozy. Ceramic tile which is both fireproof and easy to clean covers the floor.
In addition to the air conditioning, a separate ventilation unit works to keep fresh air flowing into the room.
“It’s got everything you need for a comfortable place to watch the game, play cards or just unwind from the day,” Meade said. “It’s detached from the main house so it gives the feeling of an escape to another place.”