Architects: XTEN Architecture
Location: Manhattan Beach, California, USA
Principals: Monika Haefelfinger & Austin Kelly, AIA
Client: Jennifer & Nick Hall
Project Year: 2008
Photographs: Art Gray Photography
The Surfhouse appears as an abstract block of ebonized cedar a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean in Hermosa Beach. The site is very small. While typical lots in the area measure 120′ x 40′, the allowable building area for the Surfhouse measures just 33′ x 24′. The architects approached the project by subtracting the larger program areas from a solid volumetric form that conformed to the zoning regulations and sought to maximize space, light, and views while also creating a sense of privacy and retreat for the young owners on a busy beachside street.
The domestic program is stacked vertically on the lot. Services and bedrooms are on the lower floors, with larger rooms pushed to the corners for light and views in multiple directions. The top floor and decks are completely open as continuous indoor / outdoor living spaces open to the beach and ocean. The facade is made from rough sawn, black stained cedar planks with volumetric openings at primary program spaces and a system of identical 2′ x 5′ casement windows arrayed across the secondary elevations for specific views and ventilation. The interior is all light and air, with bamboo floors and walls of glass that slide away to bring the beachside environment inside.