In the Manhattan Beach “walk street” district, the HC residence is a three story retreat designed with the balance of constraint and articulation in mind. By restricting the materiality of the home to a simple palette of stone, wood, and steel, the home achieves a sense of timeless subtlety. In contrast to its material serenity, the form of the home embraces nuanced expression through the way it dances between mass and void, density and weightlessness, enclosures and apertures. It is this quiet dynamism that makes the sum of its elements all the more powerful.
The home begins on the beach level with an entertainment lounge that sits below the walk street. The sunken quality of the room accomplishes both privacy and access to a quiet veranda through the carefully landscaped encroachment. In addition, like many residences in this district, the home features a reverse floor plan, which generously enables the ocean view to be shared by all guests who ascend to the third floor. It would be a fallacy, however, to believe that the ocean is the only focal point of this level. While the view might end with the ocean, it begins to unfold at the top of the stairs.
Stone walls flank the base of the third floor and a stunning, timber beamed roof soars beyond the parameters of the walls into a giant indoor/outdoor deck. The density of the walls and the “weight” of the wood beamed ceiling are interrupted only by the strategic insertion of glass, which further fosters the sense of “lightness”. This “lightness” finds expression in two ways: weightlessness and natural light. The transom windows running north to south, give the illusion that the roof is resting on nothing but air. Flooded with natural light by day and beaming it warmly at night, it is a home that embodies warmth and welcome at all times of day.