Describe the featured project.
This project is located two blocks from the Pacific Ocean in Hermosa Beach. The challenge was the home’s tight 30’ x 70’ lot flanked on one end by a walk street and on the other with a narrow alley. Our clients wanted an open concept on the ground floor that leads to natural grade and outdoor areas, but zoning mandates a large two-car garage that would otherwise force the living spaces of the small footprint to be split between multiple levels. The solution was a mechanical parking lift that fits two cars stacked in the footprint of one.
A front deck doubles as an outdoor rec room. White masonry blocks form an entry wall that screens interior living areas from the front porch. A 27-foot-long pocket sliding door opens the living, dining and kitchen to a patio running the length of the lot and allows the interior to borrow 6½ feet from the required side yard, making the modest-sized footprint live larger than its square footage. The bedrooms and study are located on the second floor, where a balcony offers access to a private roof terrace.
The ocean breeze and abundance of operable doors and windows give the home passive cooling that eliminates the need for an air conditioning system. For warmth, in-floor hydronic radiant heating is installed throughout. A solar water collector on the south roof provides the domestic hot water and supplements the boiler for the in-floor radiant system.
Tell us about your business.
We are a boutique design-build studio that believes in good design and getting our hands dirty. With a multidisciplinary team of architects, designers and contractors, we provide complete services—taking a project from conception through construction.
How did you get your start?
At a small architecture firm in Beverly Hills almost 20 years ago. Wanting to be closer to the beach, I then went on to work at Dean Nota Architect in Hermosa for about seven years before eventually branching out on my own.
How much of your job is actually solving clients’ problems?
We look at every project as a problem to solve and come up with a specific solution to that problem. The end product is a holistic result deriving from the site (physical constraints, existing structures, zoning, sunlight, etc.), the client’s program, budget and the context or locale of the project.
Photographed by Joe Fletcher