Joseph Spierer Architects

Describe the featured project.

Located on a walk street along the coast in Manhattan Beach, this home incorporates modern European features inspired by the architecture of Alys Beach. The staple of the house is the expansive top floor with views from end to end, designed with sliders that open onto a large balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean. On the other end is a sunny morning room with a skylight and corner windows facing the Peninsula. At the ground-floor level, the front courtyard is nestled in planters to provide privacy within the busy beach area. The home’s exterior is composed of white stucco and clean, sculptural details. Glass balconies paired with hints of iron and oak introduce a variety of earthy textures. 

View sites are common in the Beach Cities, so we used drone photography to ensure they are captured in the main spaces, and solar studies help us analyze how natural light affects our designs. Using all of these pieces of information, we are able to create a home that responds well to its surroundings while meeting our client’s individualized goals.

What are some things to consider when choosing an architect? 

Defining your needs is a great place to start. Are you looking for a highly customized design? Do you need assistance in determining a specific style for the project that truly represents you? Communication and responsiveness differ greatly among architects. An experienced architect can help you clarify your goals and address any necessary questions. 

It is also important to note the architect’s expertise, design ability and versatility. A key factor is the architect’s understanding of local rules and ordinances of the city, as well as being able to design in a way that translates a client’s vision into architecture. An architectural firm with state-of-the-art design tools helps visualize the client’s unique ideas. At Joseph Spierer Architects, we construct all our designs in three dimensions on the computer. Between this, virtual reality and printed 3D models, our clients can experience their new home fully prior to ever putting a shovel in the ground. 

What steps do you take to get to know your clients? 

We begin by conducting a thorough analysis to understand the existing conditions of the site. We then ask our clients an extensive scope of questions. Beyond the typical “How many bedrooms?” we ask, “What is your morning routine like?” or “When you entertain, what does that look like?” We try to have the first meeting in the client’s home to give us a glimpse into their everyday life and observe how they move through their home.

Next, we aim to draw out the client’s sense of style from magazine clippings and photographs of homes that appeal to them. We provide images as well, and together we discuss the particular elements the client likes about each photo. After we incorporate this information, we can create a space that will enrich their everyday lives. 

Visualization by Negar Zahiri