How to create a home for a client who would rather be outdoors? In Fujisawa, Japan, Apollo Architects and Associates did just that, designing a minimal home for a client who loves to surf. Located near the beach, the home includes a bathroom that can be accessed from outside, making it easy for the owner to clean up following a session.
Though this compact bungalow in Manhattan Beach contains an impressive collection of high-design furniture, including an original Eames shell chair and a Nelson jewelry cabinet, it's the outdoor space that truly shines. Together, the architect and resident, an avid surfer, designed the long steel-and-ipe bench, which suspends from the low concrete wall.
It was the surf and the artsy vibe that attracted Eric Grunbaum to Venice Beach, California. A surfer and creative director for an advertising agency, he thrives on lively environs. So it’s no surprise that he turned to the Los Angeles–based architect Barbara Bestor to design a modern home for him near the Pacific. Bestor, the chair of graduate studies at Woodbury University School of Architecture, has a formidable reputation in Southern California for her bohemian modernism, and for Grunbaum, she created a 2,000–square-foot, three-bedroom, three-bath home that harbors a traditional sensibility with a contemporary heart.
For Thomas Meyerhoffer, a product designer and surfer, and his wife Mary Kate, a graphic designer and serious rock climber, living in San Francisco was never about being in the city. “It’s one of the few places in the world you can live in a big city and be so close to nature,” explains Thomas, who arrived in the Bay Area in 1993. Not long ago, the adventurous couple took the leap of leaving city life behind entirely, and bought a 30-by-30-foot cinder-block house in Montara, which they gutted to create an open plan.
This solar-powered compound in Venice, California, was inspired by architect and resident David Hertz's surf safaris. As a young man traveling in Bali, he was impressed by tropical village compounds where indoors and out flow into each other. “Those houses seemed able to breathe, like plants and flowers,” he recalls.
While most beachfront houses are designed to resist the maritime elements, this home in San Francisco embraces them. Lined in Cor-Ten steel, the house and its owner, a lifelong surfer, invite the sea air to redden its facade.