Description by Mark Dziewulski
Weekend house built over the waves and sand of Malibu Beach.
The form of the house takes its inspiration from its context: the beach and waves. It is literally cantilevered over the surf, which passes beneath it at high tide. It has an exceptional location as it positioned at the end of a long open stretch of beach and has views on three sides. Being the end house also makes it highly visible to the 50,000 cars that pass each day along the Pacific Coast Highway, a scenic road that hugs the coastline at this point. The main spaces open up towards the surf with a wall of glass and extensive decks, which have fire pits. This indoor/outdoor relationship was very important to the client. The compact plan was carefully designed to provide views form all the main rooms, with large open spaces and maximum flexibility for entertaining. This is foremost a weekend getaway house.
The design evokes memories of yachts, bathing machines and cranes, reflecting its program as a form raised up and hanging over the sea. It appears almost machine-like — as though the floors were lifted and hoisted over the waves. The angled structure for the house is held back from the beach side to allow fully glazed facades overlooking the sea. This diagonal also reinforces the drama of the cantilever and creates a tension in the composition, hovering over the surf. It is an unusual site as it the end house along a row of adjacent homes and therefore has three visible facades. It was very important that the house was visually activated on all sides, while being more private and sheltering on the street side. The curves of the windows mirror the movement of the sea, which they literally reflect.
It was built on the footings of an existing house so we didn’t need to touch beach or disturb the natural environment. It was possible to recycle framing and structure and transform them into something entirely new without having to demolish and rebuild — saving a lot of landfill.
Photography courtesy of Mark Dziewulski