House3 – Hermosa Beach, California

This new residence is located in Hermosa Beach, a fast paced Southern California community that treasures their ocean views, bright living spaces and unique home designs, while simultaneously living less than 10 feet from neighbors on each side. This presented the unique challenge of maintaining a degree of privacy while not excluding natural light to grace the interior.

Planning for natural light would require a level of creativity that goes beyond just a good design. Understanding materials, their capabilities and the methods of which they are constructed bears heavily on it’s success.

Street View Perspectives

Beyond the obvious large windows facing west and clerestory windows to the north and south, capturing the last sliver of natural light was achieved by introducing small floor to ceiling ‘slot windows’ strategically placed along the south wall from the bedroom level to the roof garden.

South Elevation


This approach will allow light from this most privacy sensitive side by recessing a portion of the south wall in two locations, allowing an east and west orientation so as not face the neighbors. A white finish as the last key element, reflecting bright ambient light where needed.

Above Street PerspectivesA third challenge posed was the clients desire to place the bedrooms on the second level, between the garage/street entry and the main living areas. A fundamental approach to any design is a clear and deliberate separation of public and private.

North Elevation


Separating visitors from the private areas was achieved by introducing a stair tower located on the north side of the home spanning the entire length of the property. The bedroom level is then comfortably placed between public layers without the need to shut doors or visitors feeling awkwardly intrusive.

Roof Garden looking west

Roof Garden Looking West

To further the advancement of natural light,a floor of structural glazing is introduced at the Roof Garden level. At 3 feet wide and running the entire length of the roof the living area below is showered with daylight, a space that would otherwise be the darkest corner of the home.

Kitchen looking west

Kitchen looking west

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