This unconventional residence embraces a natural architectural balance of Southern Africa’s safari lodges and Southern California’s soft rustic modern to create timeless authentic architecture. The environment of this grounded home is exemplified by warm natural earthy materials, opening to a peaceful family retreat perched high above the Manhattan Beach coastal community. Built for a family of surfers, it was clear that this house, just a few block from the beach needed to support not only that surfer lifestyle, but that surfer life story: casual, open, and fun. The attitude and the materials chosen recall a South African palette, where the family has roots. Incorporating these textures and materials serve to make the home retreat-like, with gentle whimsical surprises.

The floor-to-ceiling windows are actually retractable doors that completely fold in on themselves to open up the space. And this is exactly how the family lives—not only opening those doors when guests come over, but keeping them open all day and night. The view of the ocean, down the adjacent walk street, gives them their own surf reports—updated moment-to-moment.

No other house erases the line of inside and outside the way this house does. The entire upstairs living area feels like one large, continuous, luxurious modern camp. It’s a space where you could just as easily have an easy, semi-open-air Thanksgiving as you could a laid-back braai – and both have taken place under its eucalyptus ceiling.

Project Details


Alma Avenue II


Manhattan Beach, CA



KAA Services


Landscape Architecture

Lighting Designer

The Ruzika Company


Roger Davies

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