Above: Looking north up the coast toward Malibu from within the third floor office.
At Left: A ‘wood tower’ punctuates all levels of the home down the middle of the western facade. It contains a window seat on the main living floor and an office on the second floor. Through its vertical orientation, the tower serves as counterpoint to the ocean’s horizontal line, adding complexity and formal richness to the overall massing.
These design-savvy clients dreamed of having a beach home in Southern California and made the life-altering decision to uproot and transplant their family from England. In much the same way that travel to foreign countries alters the perception of one’s own home, moving to such a dramatically different environment encourages viewing your surroundings through fresh eyes. To facilitate that new perspective, a key element of this home’s design is transparency – literal and metaphorical. Visitors are treated to a stunning ocean view through a series of layered openings leading from the entrance to the beach. A horizontal slot of glass separating the first and second stories focuses on the border of ocean and sky; a line of light that penetrates the entire interior. The second story floats above the horizon line, lifting the dwelling into the loftier spaces of the sky and the imagination.
At Right: The home wraps itself from the front to the back of the site, creating a roofless garden courtyard that takes advantage of the temperate climate. A view from the street – a white plaster and wood-clad volume floats above a limestone-clad entry portal and garage.
At Left: The formal geometry of interlocking rectangles wheels around the courtyard and creates the core around which the house turns. Most spaces in the house, including the master bedroom (above), communicate with this central open space, which pulls down a shaft of sky into the center of the house.
At Right: Deep cantilevers and long spans represent a structural bravado, ultimately receding into minimal volumes that form a background to the site and frame the activities of daily life. Clear, open spaces on the lower floor flow outward to the horizon.
Above: While the ground level wraps itself around the courtyard and is open from east to west; the top level is composed of more discrete spaces that provide a welcoming sense of enclosure and privacy. Here a private terrace off of the master bathroom welcomes in the ocean breeze.
At Left: No front door necessary. Access to the home is granted directly into the courtyard through a limestone-clad entry portal and bronze-framed wood gate.
At Right: Just inside the entry gate a corten steel fountain gently burbles. The home’s courtyard offers some protection from the elements and is a perfect space for year-round entertaining.
23rd & The Strand
Hermosa Beach, CA
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