The client, an extremely bright, detail-oriented, real-life rocket scientist, faced the prospect of both early retirement and the chance to build his coastal dream home.  He had lived in a small bungalow on the property for years.  The approach to the new home was similar to the way the owner would decipher a scientific problem, diligently testing, working through, and solving different possibilities.

Along with the luxury of living with ocean views there is at the same time, the proximity to the sea which necessitates protecting the home's interior and exterior form the damaging effects of the elements: sun, salt air, ocean spray, rainstorms, and blowing sand.  Materials were selected based on warmth, texture and the need for low maintenance in the salty coastal environment.  Specific hardwoods, concrete, plaster, and glass were selected, in part, to withstand these forces.

This home balances the contemporary notions of maximum views, open flow of internal spaces and the constant invitation of natural light.  Plan and section interact within geometries of rectangles and squares as projected volumes of interlocking plaster, wood, and glass.  Rooms that appear to be discrete entities in plan, step into each other like three-dimensional puzzle pieces in section, forming intriguing sequences of adjoining rooms.  Cantilevered balconies provide vantage points from which to survey the shore.  The façade overlaps and interweaves into a formal composition that is as captivating to the passerby as the interior is to the residents. The result is a study in rich contracts, complex ideas, and meticulous details; balancing the contemporary notions of maximum views, open flow of internal spaces, and the constant invitation of natural light.


About Us

KAA Design is a leading-edge design studio dedicated to advancing the California lifestyle through contemporary architecture. For over 25 years, we have created one-of-a-kind homes that place a premium on comfort and beauty, elevating the rituals of daily life from the mundane to the sublime.

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Our Thinking

An Interview with Million Dollar Decorating

Founder Grant Kirkpatrick was recently interviewed by James Swan on his popular podcast Million Dollar Decorating. Listen to or download the interview transcript here.

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