Southern California Dreamin’
Residents of Manhattan Beach are living the California Dream. Many of them are transplants from the East Coast or the Midwest fascinated with the small-town coastal vibe symbolized by this South Bay city. With the majestic Pacific Ocean and beautiful sand beaches in walking distance from their front door, residents enjoy year-round access to aquatic sports, beach volleyball, and world-class jogging/biking paths. The buzz of nearby surfers, paddle-boarders, and sun-bathers reinforces this iconic lifestyle.
The Strand offers a close-up view into these exclusive and eclectic beachfront homes, each of which have been wedged into narrow lots averaging 33’ wide by 100’ deep.
Responding to the coastline’s steep grade change and challenging lot sizes, these multi-story dwellings are constructed on a slope that descends from Ocean Drive (a back alley) to the pedestrian-only Strand. Having lived there for many years and understanding the lifestyle, David Pascu designed a prototypical home for The Strand. This home maximizes views of the ocean while maintaining privacy. It endeavors to use every bit of the small, yet valuable site. And since many residents in the area have the ability to work from home, The Strand House incorporates a small home office on the lower level.
A private outdoor shower on the lower level, adjacent to a full bathroom, allows residents and their guest to rinse off after a day at the beach without bringing sand into the home. The main level living area and kitchen transition seamlessly into an abundant patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Manhattan Beach Pier. Arriving on the upper level, the sleeping quarters include two bedrooms and a master suite with its own private balcony.
The kitchen counter flows from inside to out and incorporates a special pivoting window that tilts up allowing the living space and upper patio to become one large space for entertaining.
Throughout the home, light enters through carefully placed skylights and clerestory windows that maintain privacy from the walk-street. Even the garage has tall ceilings and an abundance of natural light. Using all space available, a theater is placed under the garage where the lack of daylighting is beneficial.
The material palette includes smooth trowel plaster, mahogany wood siding, limestone cladding, and Kynar painted aluminum cladding. These materials are carefully layered to break up and “lighten” the mass of the home.