This house occupies the last oceanfront lot in a forty-year-old beach development along the Pacific Coast of California. Federal and State guidelines for flooding and seismic protection helped guide the development of a buildable area strongly circumscribed on all sides. The program for the house is straightforward: a single large entertaining area, a Master Suite, Guest Suite, and two additional bedrooms. The design suspends the house between two large pedestals. The volume to the north contains the entry, a bath, and the fireplace. The volume to the south contains the Master and Guest Suites. The center pavilion, which bridges between the two, contains the entertaining area and two bedrooms. The pavilion employs virtually all glass, while the material for the pedestals consists of vertical siding with punched windows. This strong contrast reflects the architectural solution to the practical problems of the site. The open area under the floating glass pavilion serves a flood vent, and the solid pedestals act as rigid diaphragms/legs to mitigate the impact of earthquakes.
Photographer: Barbara Boissevain