Surfhouse, Hermosa Beach, California by XTEN Architecture
The Surfhouse sits like an abstract block of weathered wood a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean in Hermosa Beach, California. The site is very small. Subtracting for setbacks leaves an allowable building area that is only 23 feet wide x 29 feet deep x 30 feet high. The architectural concept maximizes spaces, light, and views while also creating a sense of privacy and retreat for the owners.
The architects approached the project by subtracting the larger program areas from a solid volumetric from that conformed to the web of regulations governing the site, 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 with views 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.