Michael Lee Architects
Alma Ave Residence 3020 Alma Avenue, Manhattan Beach, CA
2010 Design

This 3,400 SF single-family residence sits on a small corner lot in the Sand Section of north Manhattan Beach. Its four levels are organized with the primary living spaces (kitchen / dining / living) on the top floor, the garage and the bedrooms on the middle levels, and a dramatic two-story family room at the basement level.

The top floor has sweeping views of Santa Monica Bay through large pocketing sliding doors, which, when opened, make the entire floor an indoor/outdoor room. The family room, at the lowest level, is open to the entry level and to the front patio, making what would have been an out-of-the-way room a fun, focal and architecturally striking space.

The material palette for the house consists of concrete and stucco base, accented by a wall of deep charcoal ribbon tile that intentionally contrasts with the floating cedar roof of the top floor. The interior spaces are warmed by the use of open-grain oak flooring and rift walnut doors.