The Strand Residence is a stunning beach house that resides in Dana Point, California, designed by Horst Architects. Several generations of the owner’s family enjoyed seaside vacations in their weathered, wooden cottage in Crystal Cove, just north of Laguna Beach, California. When the lease with the State of California recently expired, the owners purchased a property within the Strand at the Headlands, a few miles south in Dana Point. Seeking to re-establish their familial base, the owners requested a relaxed family beach house accommodating three master suites for parents and grandparents, as well as a suitable environment for children, grandchildren and friends.
The parti reflects the program through a composition of three diaphanous pavilions around a central, unifying courtyard. This courtyard is concealed from the street and entered discretely through a pivoting wood door revealing a covered passageway along a stone wall leading to the entry. This sequence of movement from street to inner sanctum creates an atmosphere of mystery and heightens the sense of arrival, while also revealing the ocean view sequentially. A series of overlapping reflecting ponds contained within the central courtyard instill a sense of meditation and retreat where one can contemplate the ocean and sky.
Indoor and outdoor living is orchestrated by balancing views with privacy, communal space with intimacy.
The clear expression of the steel skeleton structure, in filled with glass and wood, allows the structure to sit lightly along the coastal terrain, while limestone walls anchor the structure. The interplay of light, materials and composition contribute to a sense of place rooted into the site.
Photos: Courtesy of Horst Architects
Truro Beach House was designed for a waterfront site overlooking Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts by Jill Neubauer Architects in collaboration with interior design firm Raymond Forehand Associates. This modern house takes advantage of stunning views while negotiating steep terrain. The house is anchored behind the top of the coastal bank, which creates a buffer from the extreme conditions of the site. Designed for LEED compliance, the house is constructed with sustainable and non-toxic materials, and powered with alternative energy systems, including geothermal heating and cooling, photovoltaic (solar) electricity and a residential scale wind turbine.
The plan is organized along the north/south axis, with living spaces pushed towards the water and service spaces lining the eastern side of the house. Additionally, the house is split along its east/west axis, with private spaces enjoying southern exposure and public spaces occupying the northern half. The rectangular footprint parallels the bluff and beach, offering expansive views from all rooms. Large sliding glass doors on either side of the house allow ocean breezes to flow through. The flat roof offers a roof-top deck with fireplace. Interior finishes include wooden walls and stone floors.
Photos: Courtesy of Jill Neubauer Architects
Villa Ercolano is nestled high above the ocean in the town of Ercolano, in the province of Naples in Southern Italy, designed by Fabrizia Frezza Architecture & Interiors. The villa dates back to the 1970s and had an excellent structural base on which to build. The internal distribution, especially at the ground level, did not need substantial changes, however it had to be updated and relieved. A dark and disharmonious atmosphere existed due to the use of tiles, stonework, dark wood frames, custom-made dark wooden furniture, fabrics and decorations of every kind. Moreover, the interior of the villa did not reflect the exterior, which denoted a typical Mediterranean style with its form and the white stucco of the walls. The main objective of my project was to recreate the harmony between the interior and the exterior. I brightened the ambiance with the use of waxed, white terracotta at the ground floor. At the first floor I chose bleached oak wood, more suitable for the sleeping area, which combined the candour of white with the warmth of wood. The window frames themselves have been bleached and modified to let as much sunlight as possible filter through.
The lighting coming from outside, reflected by the sea, the white of the stucco and of the floors, the pastel-colored linens in the bedrooms, and the deep purple velvet sofas in the living room, are the background for the family’s antique furniture and for the pieces exclusively designed. Selected family furniture, as the armoires and a large dresser, were rediscovered, whitened and finely decorated with gold patina giving the rooms a harmonious retro feeling. The elegance and simplicity of the house can also be found in the bathrooms, where the white predominates in the stone sinks combined with modern polished steel accessories. The choice of the white has given brightness to the terrace, where the sole colored elements are the blue of the swimming pool, the sky and the sea and the dark wood of some furnishings. The white, built-in chaise lounge at the edges of the swimming pool stands out against the surreal landscape of the city of Herculaneum in the background dominated by the imposing Mount Vesuvius.
Photos: Courtesy of Fabrizia Frezza Architecture & Interiors
Dusit Thani Maldives blends graceful Thai hospitality with the unparalleled luxury setting of the beautiful Maldives. Encircled by white sandy beaches, a rich house reef and turquoise lagoon, the resort on Mudhdhoo Island hosts 100 villas and residences. The resort features Beach Villas, Beach Villas with Pool, Lagoon Villas with Pool, Ocean Villas with Pool, and the exclusive Ocean Pavilions and Beach Residences, all offering a haven of modern sophistication with luxurious amenities and technology.
Dusit Thani Maldives fuses a fine selection of restaurants with uncompromising service and spectacular views. Retreat from the midday heat to enjoy poolside snacks. The Sala Bar is perfect for watching the sunset or star gazing. Elevated in a grove of coconut palm trees, Dusit’s signature Devarana Spa is one of a kind in the Maldives. Devarana Spa features six tree-top treatment pods nestled in to enhance the spa journey.
Located near Hanifaru Huraa, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve renowned as a feeding ground for manta rays and whale sharks, Dusit Thani Maldives offers guests diving and snorkeling; a 750 square meter swimming pool – the largest in the Maldives; fully-equipped fitness studio with personal trainer and yoga instructor; resident marine biologist; children’s play area and club facility; library with internet stations; and island boutiques.
This ultra stunning modern beach house has been designed by ZeroEnergy Design to be an environmentally sensible home in beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The clients are a professional couple, both in different medical fields with a large family including grown children and grandchildren, came to the architects with some unusual space requirements, a narrow lot on an environmentally sensitive site, and a magnificent west-facing view.
They normally reside in downtown Boston, but plan to spend their summers and weekends on the Cape. While their Boston residence accommodates some of their children, their new 6,200 square foot, seven bedroom, eight bathroom beach home will be the only place that will accommodate all seven of them, including their significant others and the grandchildren, thus dictating the need for an extensive number of bedrooms. The entire family will gather over the summer and on holidays, while the couple will use the home by themselves during weekends throughout the year.
Planning for the extreme variation in occupancy was an issue the designers dealt with from the start. The home is split into a ˜Living Bar’ and a ˜Sleeping Bar.’ The Sleeping Bar is the expansion module with numerous bedrooms & bathrooms to accommodate the entire family. The Living Bar includes the living and dining areas, as well as a secondary master bedroom – all that the couple needs when the children are away. This programmatic zoning allows the Sleeping Bar to be shut down during the majority of the year to decrease energy use.
The site has a spectacular west-facing view of the water and sunset. The area of west-facing orientation of the glazing used to capture this view certainly isn’t ideal for energy performance. The narrow lot size, combined with the client’s square footage requirements and the obvious desire to be able to take in the view from the primary living space made the un-ideal orientation of the glazing unavoidable. The rest of the building envelope certainly offsets the luxury view.
The exterior finishes will allow the home to turn a traditional Cape Cod grey and blend into the dunes. The site is vegetated with indigenous plants that prevent erosion and won’t require irrigation.
Choices were also made to promote healthy indoor air quality. Flooring was limited to slate, bamboo, and polished concrete, while omitting any carpeting that might capture dust, mites, mold, or moisture. The rapidly renewable bamboo flooring is bound with nontoxic glues. The insulation in interior walls and floor, used for sound insulation and to improve the performance of the radiant heating system, is formaldehyde-free. An air exchange and energy recovery system will provide clean fresh air throughout the year.
Silvia and Silvia of Osterville built the home with double stud framing which allows a continuous layer of foam insulation (uninterrupted by studs). The geothermal system, coupled with a radiant heating system, will supply all of the heating and cooling for the year. Aside from energy efficient appliances and water heaters, all of the spaces are well illuminated using energy efficient fixtures. The client also decided to minimize the home’s reliance of fossil fuels. Propane is used only for cooking. There is no natural gas.
The roof sports a large solar electric array to offset energy usage through the use of net metering. A battery back-up and energy management system will store electricity from the solar array to ensure the basic functions of the home through blackouts without the use of a gas-powered generator. The combination the energy efficient building envelope and systems with the solar array will allow the home to produce nearly as much energy as it uses over the course of a year!
Photos: Eric Roth
Casa El Pangue stands on a steep slope facing the ocean in rural area of El Pangue, Chile. Designed by Elton+Leniz Arquitectos Asociados, the 4,703 square foot (437 square meters) house is organized with a central vertical circulation, connecting the four levels and three terraces, in order to get as much of the view of the Pacific Ocean as possible, taking advantage of the height offered by the natural slope of the site.
Each level contains a different part of the program; access is through the lower level, where you find parking, storage and an open shower. The next level houses the public zones of the house, such as the kitchen, play room, dining room and living room. The third level features bedrooms and the family room, and the fourth the main bedroom.
The constructive system is generated upon sustaining concrete walls that terraces the site in three levels. The fourth level was designed as a lightweight structure with wood siding. The living room level appears as a great terrace surrounded by planters, which replace the railings.
Photos: Natalia Vial
This stunning single family home was designed by Bates Masi Architects for an adventurous couple and their four sons, situated between the Atlantic Ocean and a freshwater pond in Sagaponack, New York. The clients desired a spacious home of 8,965 square feet that could accommodate their large family and numerous guests with a lawn, swimming pool, pool house, garage, and sports courts on a site with a limited building envelope due to coastal and wetland zoning. The large program, relatively small footprint, and daunting regulations dictated a densely packed building envelope between the ocean and the pond. Thus the design process was one of subtraction rather than addition: carving away at the solid mass of the house to reconnect site features and views and to distill the experience of the place.
Spaces run the full width of the house with floor to ceiling sliding doors on both sides. The spaces create apertures through which views, light, and air completely penetrate the house, dissolving its mass. Passersby see directly through the house to the sky and landscape beyond. With the sliding doors open and recessed into the adjacent walls, interior spaces are transformed from formal rooms to open pavilions, merging seamlessly with the site.
To accommodate the extensive program spaces are nested within one another. Operable partitions pull out from the walls of the living room, carving out a media room within the living room when privacy is desired. Conversely, with the partitions open, the media room merges with the living room for large gatherings. The thickness of the wall separating the dining room and kitchen is also cut away, utilizing its depth to accommodate a wine rack that also functions as a light fixture.
The process of carving is applied at the material and detail level as well. The 5/8” corten steel plate that clads the base of the house is waterjet cut into a delicate pattern that defies its mass. Inside, corian is employed for the ease with which it can be milled. Corian countertops are cut to form towel bars, bunk bed frames are carved to create ladders, cabinet doors are recessed to form handles, and wainscoting is subtly etched with meaningful words chosen by the clients.
Materials were chosen not only for their workability, but also for their durability in the coastal environment. Corten steel siding is zero maintenance despite being relentlessly sandblasted by the wind. Cedar siding and screens are finished using a Victorian technique in which the iron sulfate in a blend of white vinegar and iron filings reacts with the tannins in wood, creating an ebony finish that penetrates through the material and will not require refinishing. The lack of harsh stains or finishes reduces the ecological footprint of the house. Geothermal heating and cooling as well as vegetated roofs further reduce the environmental impact.
Photos: Michael Moran
This stunning property, spotted on Skeppsholmen, is characterized by light and space is nestled high on a sloping hillside in a private location in Österlen, Sweden. The home features incredible views of the open sea and rolling countryside. The residence consists of 5,382 square feet (500 square meters) of living space spread over a variety of amazing rooms. The austere exterior with horizontal white panels, galvanized metal roof and large glass windows brings nature inside. The home has been designed with both practical and stylish features, with slate flooring creating a calming atmosphere as well as beautiful white oiled oak wood.
The fully equipped kitchen is accessed through a light and airy passageway with a pantry and wine room. The kitchen is open to the spacious dining area and features 6-foot high ceilings and stylish industrial designed lighting. There is also a beautiful atrium and an adjoining living room and lounge area with fireplace, gray plank floors and whitewashed walls with an exit to a terrace. Connected to the lounge is a salon with generous windows and access to another terrace. An office and multi-level studio offer breathtaking views of the sea and surrounding beautiful countryside. The studio exits to the patio and garden.
There are five spacious bedrooms and two tastefully decorated bathrooms, with the master bedroom adjacent to a stunning Moroccan style bathroom.
Externally, this magnificent property offers several patios, gardens and the quiet atrium in contrast to the open countryside. The beautiful scenery and the private mode create a unique atmosphere.
This bright and airy character filled home captures the true essence of its coastal lifestyle in New South Wales, Australia. Nestled on a spacious property with beautiful gardens, this private paradise is close to the cosmopolitan Newport village, famous for its diverse blend of shopping, cafes and restaurants. The front of the property features a wonderfully protected sandstone courtyard useable for all year round entertaining. The refreshing beachy all white color scheme, rough sawn timber walls, open plan living and sun-drenched decking, combine to create the ‘ultimate beach home’ with gorgeous ocean views. The stylish design includes many individual and distinctive characteristics and high attention to detail.
There are three bedrooms on the lower level with one of the bedrooms open to an area fabulous as a kid’s play room or TV room. The king size master bedroom on the upper level with a deluxe en-suite opens to a private and covered deck also with built-in day bed taking in the wonderful ocean views. Storage is aplenty with a couple of storage rooms useable for surfboard storage, or workshop and a large area underneath the house which can be used as additional storage or a home office or artist studio with a deck area also capturing the ocean view. Via
Sun drenched decking with built-in day bed creates a relaxed area to sit back admire the ocean view and read a paper or a book.
Character filled kitchen with an entertainer’s stainless steel gas oven and wooden island bench top and large pantry and original character sink. Includes built in under bench industrial fridge.
Open plan living incorporates the lounge, dining and kitchen and flows out to a sunny deck. The lounge area has a classic open wood fireplace surrounded by enough built-in shelving to hold a library of books.
Bluff House occupies the crest of a windblown bluff overlooking the Atlantic and nearby saltwater ponds in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, designed by Maryann Thompson Architects. This stunning four bedroom, 6,850 square foot summer house was intended to be reminiscent of the early camps in Martha’s Vineyard. The house both shelters its inhabitants from the summer sun yet remains open to a visual panorama of ocean and pond views.
The structure’s complex form, organized between an earthen stone plinth and trapezoidal roof, is generated by the natural geometry of the bluff. The space between the planes allows for clerestory windows, which let in diffused light from above. The house becomes a visual extension of the landscape as the roof planes reciprocate the formal qualities of the bluff, windswept cedars, and cresting waves of the Atlantic below.
The colors and textures of the unfinished exterior material palette are meant to blend into the surrounding site over time, giving the house a feel that it is “of its place.” The western red cedar siding will weather to subtle and varied shades of gray. The windows are framed in unfinished yellow cedar, which will also weather to gray, as will the zinc roof.
The house is designed to be comfortable in the summer without mechanical air conditioning,large overhangs shade expanses of glass, and all rooms have cross ventilation. The clerestory windows, when open, pull the ventilation through the house. As the hot air rises out, cooler breezes are brought in along the ground. The result is a house that is open to the site and views, yet is also shady and breezy.
A family room off the kitchen has a large folding door that opens the space of the room to the screened porch, essentially turning the family room into one large screened porch when the doors are open.
The building’s interior continues the red cedar tongue and groove cladding of the exterior soffit, creating visual continuity on the outside, as well as offering a sense of craft reminiscent of the Vineyard’s boat-building traditions. The interior layout revolves around the central living room/dining/kitchen space.
Moments of intimacy are achieved within the open floor plan through the use of nooks and smaller spatial moments in the plan.
One of the four bedrooms serves as a guest suite, with a separate entrance and living area.
Photos: Steve Turner