Hermosa Beach, California, USA
Located just south of the pier in Hermosa Beach, Strandhouse by XTEN Architecture aims to be a model for the beach house typology on a shotgun lot that is common throughout coastal Southern California.
Strandhouse has recently been awarded a 2022 International Architecture Awards Honorable Mention by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
Positioned between two traditional neighboring houses with an alley to the rear, the site’s context is deliberately reduced to the beach, the ocean, the sky, and the vibrant activity of The Strand.
The house is divided into three levels each with a unique vantage point and distinct relationship to The Strand.
The ground floor is conceived as an extension of the beach and its attention is absorbed by the activity before it.
The main living space occupies the second level, perched above.
The Strand’s focus is on the ocean, similar to that of a lifeguard tower.
All primary living spaces are combined into one light-filled room open to the sights, sounds, and smells of the Pacific Ocean.
Completely detached from The Strand, the upper level focuses upward to the calm of the horizon and sky.
A central stair core connects all levels and along with a pair of large frosted windows, filters northern light down into the middle of the long narrow building.
Volumetrically the house is expressed as a simple rectangle, conceived as a framing device, focusing one’s attention on the beach, the ocean, and the sky, while calming the surrounding visual noise.
Architects: XTEN Architecture
General Contractor: IvanJames Development, Inc.
Photographers: Art Gray Photography