When our clients moved to Southern California, they decided to create a family legacy on one of the most coveted lots in Manhattan Beach. With sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, the coveted corner lot engages the neighborhood on two sides, the busy pedestrian Strand and 17th Walkstreet, and the resulting home design was conceived to embrace the bustling beach community, while still offering a private retreat.
Rising out of the grasses in a berm like landscape on the walkstreet, the main floor is fairly transparent from the entry courtyard through to the west. The courtyard serves not only as the main entry, but also as the outdoor living area, extending the space and making it feel far more gracious then what one would expect of a typical 30’x90’ lot. The exposed cedar and steel beam assembly opens up the main level’s ceiling heights, while the strong east-west direction of the structure reaches out to the ocean all while showing the nature of the structure required to span the size of the space and supporting the master level retreat above.
The home’s palette is composed of natural materials inspired by a coastal Scandinavian environment. The architectural form is driven from by simplicity and authenticity. Two lacy pavilions sit lightly atop their board formed concrete plinths, connected by the negative space of the exterior courtyard and the main stair that acts as a bridge. Louvers made of wood and bronze are part of the main skin of the building, providing shade and privacy while still allowing a visual connection from inside.