Architect | Design | Build

You’ve seen the houses during your morning walk on the Strand or your weekend drive through the Beach Cities. They are the ones you point to and marvel at. The ones that are so beautifully designed and built, they take your breath away. Here, we talk to 12 of South Bay’s most distinguished architects and designers about their remarkable creations.



Raymond Kappe.” He did just this to construct the Yu Residence on the Hermosa Beach Strand. after an internship with SCIArc’s founding director. Made of wood. definition and consistency of application. FAIA.” Nota says. and glass for the windows and balconies. The 2nd floor’s long. but also creating enough privacy for living. The stone-brick. in Metro LA. with a view of the ocean. horizontal style also plays into this. not unlike Hermosa Beach. stone. “There is a juxtaposition between opening up the house to showcase the dramatic view. Nota’s play on light and materials distinguishes the house from its neighbors. has made the biggest impact on your career? Dean Nota: I graduated from the Southern California Institute of Architecture. A modern floor plan and living area with windows give the house a spacious feel. While the beautiful ocean view glistens through the windows.ARCHITECT | DESIGN | BUILD 2012 Drawing from Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie style influences and 19th-20th century style. It would be in a coastal community. Working ten years in the Kappe Studio nurtured my love for unique possibilities of residential architecture in the California context that has come to define my work. So.2012 D E A N N O TA D E A N N O TA . NOTA 56 SOUTHBAYDIGS.” says Watson.” he explains.14. dining table and chandelier were meticulously constructed to be as inimitable as the structure itself. ” he says. “We integrated the prairie style element in a confined beach cities space. I returned as faculty. Dean Nota explains his approach to modern design+build as “creating a sense of spaciousness when you do not have the space. what style would it be and where would you build it? Dean Nota: The South Bay is part of Metropolitan Los Angeles. D AV I D WA T S O N WATSON What is your favorite architectural icon in the world? Dean Nota: Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies aspires within its own spirit to an order achieved through clarity. one of the world’s foremost contemporary architectural laboratories. “The area’s tight space made the project come down to inches. living or historical. interested in turn of the century style. Every detail down to the light fixtures. the layout is more spacious than a typical Strand home. where. Midwestern feel in the middle of a beach city makes [the home] unique.COM | 12. The interior includes a master suite and second master bedroom. What architectural figure. David Watson designed and built residential home 32nd Street in Manhattan Beach. the house is also private enough to live comfortably. If you could design your dream home. “The clients are originally from the Midwest.

one of my favorite Architectural icons is the Sears Tower (now the Willis Tower) in Chicago. living or historical.2012 . but became a complete transformation from mainstream to modern. “We created a better flow by determining their needs and creating solutions. If you could design your dream home. Her designs celebrate the natural history of the locale in the architecture and interior design. what style would it be and where would you build it? Miles Pritkat: I grew up in Redondo Beach. I haven’t decided which ocean yet.ARCHITECT | DESIGN | BUILD 2012 PRITZKAT & JOHNSON Miles Pritzkat.” says Pritzkat. a place with personal relevance that can be experienced with some frequency. from Pritzkat & Johnson Architects. “The project was about understanding the potentials of the house and the clients’ lifestyle. something that we can lose sight of. a block from the Pacific Ocean. has made the biggest impact on your career? Keith Johnson: Mike Brady. Once the tenants realized the architects could help sculpt their What is your favorite architectural icon in the world? Miles Pritkat: I would narrow it down to “my world”. dream home. What architectural figure. and an office. what style would it be and where would you build it? Keith Johnson: It would have secret passageways behind paintings. The Casino in Avalon on Catalina Island is a fanciful. What architectural figure. they opted for a carved out wine cellar.” What is your favorite architectural icon in the world? Keith Johnson: Having grown up in the Midwest. 58 SOUTHBAYDIGS.” Pritzkat’s and Keith Johnson’s renovation of the Dauchot Residence in Palos Verdes reflects this philosophy in terms of elements built P R I T K AT & J O H N S O N especially for the tenants to support their living style.14. so my views have been slanted! Gotta be by the ocean! The specific style… needs to allow the occupants to have an open relationship with this resortlike setting where we live…I am gravitating to styles that find a balance between a relaxed formality that nods to our cultural traditions but that also allow us to live in paradise. When there were few women in the workplace and design world. living or historical. It celebrates the promise of living in Southern California. Those things keep you grounded while working in this profession. she shaped the perception of millions of visitors to the American West and Southwest. classical and functional. he had a good family life and a sense of humor. a remodeled pool. ladders behind grandfather clocks to upper level rooms and a roof deck with an ocean view.COM | 12. believes “renovation and transformation is like a custom made suit. has made the biggest impact on your career? Miles Pritkat: I took a trip to the Grand Canyon three years ago to discover the architect/designer who had influenced me from an early age without my awareness: Mary Colter. The project started as a kitchen remodel. Although a fictional character. If you could design your dream home.

In particular. What architectural figure. I might prefer to fix up a funky little beach shack on a walk street in North Manhattan. Formerly a late 80’s traditional spec house. If you could design your dream home.COM 61 A man “equally passionate about architecture and interiors.ARCHITECT | DESIGN | BUILD 2012 What is your favorite architectural icon in the world? Micheal Lee: I love the Golden Gate Bridge for its muscles. MICHAEL LEE LEE 12. “We spent a lot of time talking about what [art pieces] were going where. According to Lee. and absolute beauty.2012 | SOUTHBAYDIGS. and lighter walls to contrast the view are some of the home’s modern elements. the Guglielmo-Gaines Residence on 7th Street in Manhattan Beach underwent a beautiful transformation via Lee’s efforts.” Wood furniture compliments a patio with a built in barbeque.” says Lee. has made the biggest impact on your career? Micheal Lee: Frank Gehry has done more to change the way we think and act about buildings today than anybody else I can think of. . Or. lack of pretense. good architecture and great clients “who really pushed” him contributed to the design’s success.” Michael Lee does a significant amount of planning to provide his clients the perfect blend of both. living or historical. “Unique characteristics such as art placement made it a better project to work on.14. what style would it be and where would you build it? Micheal Lee: It would be a Rustic-Modern structure integrated into a coastal hillside in Northern Santa Barbara County. “It was really gratifying to see the house working the way we planned with the lighting and the artwork” Lee says. it now features open spaces built to display the tenants’ art.

” In the end. we can guarantee a provocative design and functional structure. a Swiss native. and an understanding of what the client wanted. Because of this.ARCHITECT | DESIGN | BUILD 2012 WINTER Bryan Winters’ Baba_Haus juxtaposes typical large-scale beach cities projects. the limited budget allowed for more creativity. has made the biggest impact on your career? Bryan Winters: Working for Thom Mayne. and a context of B R YA N W I N T E R S mass to the overall concept and scope. The client. To save money.14. a there-but-not-there emphasis of transparent and translucent materials. in Poissy. he paid extra attention to finite details and was “anal about every little thing. such as skylights from Craigslist. France. B R YA N W I N T E R S What is your favorite architectural icon in the world? Bryan Winters: VILLA SAVOYE. however. what style would it be and where would you build it? Bryan Winters: The structure would implement five concepts in design philosophy: an inside/outside relationship of material and space.” Honoring the notion that less is more. His work on this 1952 Redondo Beach bungalow was completed on a tight budget. “We saved [significantly] on the kitchen by going to Ikea.2012 . By implementing these… and keeping true to our philosophy. by Le Corbusier…the villa is a renowned example of a modern architecture international style. a principle of offsetting materials to create a scope of depth. appreciates that the home’s transformation allows her to live a simple but modern lifestyle.COM | 12. coordination. living or historical. by expanding the home from 800 square feet to 1200. which is something I don’t usually do.” says Winters. founder of Morphosis Architects and a founding father of SCI-Arc. He was determined to create something unique. 62 SOUTHBAYDIGS. What architectural figure. provided me the depth and knowledge to become a well-rounded professional. Winters recalls that that project was “a real experiment in space. If you could design your dream home. he broke his own rules. and used recycled materials. “The real challenge was that it was small in retrospect. Winters used square windows. the 2005 Pritzker Prize winner. a not-at-90-degree parallelism of site to building context.” To maximize space.

what style would it be and where would you build it? Steve Lazar: It would be nestled into the side of a mountain or hillside incorporating the earth right into the house. Hopefully it would also have some sort of a natural water feature that I could incorporate into it.” The method is apparent in projects such as Hermosa Beach’s Lifeguard Tower. with a large pool. Perhaps the most fun feature is the spiral staircase turned into a slide that leads to the children’s recreation room. He believes “there is no limit to creativity. Leach designed the living and kitchen area as one big space. When discussing his project titled the O’Grady Residence. covered exterior decks.” Though a practical craftsman to ensure durability. like a braid. Located on The Hill in Manhattan Beach.500 square feet to work with. Lazar’s portfolio is full of distinguished designs.14.” Lazar uses materials that can withstand time in their environment. materials are absolutely critical to the longevity of the house. If you could design your dream home.2012 .COM | 12. deep lot with downhill proportions and an ocean view at the rear. living or historical.ARCHITECT | DESIGN | BUILD 2012 LAZAR Steve Lazar’s design+build projects stand out in the way they blend in with the earth. “We spent a lot of time deciding how to level the top floor for the wide angle view. A built in breakfast nook with a wooden table is the ideal weekend dining area. Lazar approaches each project with a philosophy: “Function and form have to be perfectly intertwined. and that the plan fit into the O’Grady’s family-oriented lifestyle. and was meticulous. the residence is a wide. down to earth. The house has a tropical Hawaiian feel.” he says. What architectural figure. STEVE LAZAR DOUG LEACH LEACH 64 SOUTHBAYDIGS. There is also a covered living deck. and a sun deck that wraps around the house.” Leach explains. pool cabana and fireplace. Lazar says he “takes an atypical approach that comprehends design and build into the same structure.” which is reflected via imaginative elements found in his works. really organic. If it’s the other way around. He explains that more people are asking for these designs. Leach had 7. Doug Leach thinks about the clients her built it for. which is refreshingly unusual in appearance but seamless in design and build. If form overdoes function then you end up with just a monument that is not useful. It came down to a matter of 12 inches. family house with space for living. What is your favorite architectural icon in the world? Steve Lazar: Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes. “They are familyoriented. “The closer you get to the ocean. you end up with something that is mundane with no spirit. has made the biggest impact on your career? Steve Lazar: Frank Lloyd Wright for his use of materials and how he integrates indoor and outdoor spaces to create a home. They look as if they’ve come from the earth instead of being been put upon the earth. and wanted a fun.

Inc.2012 LEAN ARCH EAN ARCH James Meyer of Lean Arch. is the principal architect on a team that prides itself on design+build delivery. from room to balcony to staircase.14. His project on 34th Street in Manhattan Beach was a renovation of a multi-story.” The tenants were very engaged in the space during the remodel. “The house is fun to be in and reflects the beach lifestyle.” Meyer explains. “It’s not the kind of project we would normally do.” . but it was dynamic.” he says. “We were able to mix extreme elements of creativity at a reasonable cost.ARCHITECT | DESIGN | BUILD 2012 66 SOUTHBAYDIGS.” One cannot help to marvel at the building. “We designed it as we were building it. which was small and served no purpose. Meyer and his team tripled its size. One main focus was the top floor of the three-story house. maximizing the space’s usability. single-family residence. which is reflective in the property’s personal elements.COM | 12.” says Meyer. “It was a stew of ideas. made from both glass and steel.. Its vertically oriented connections result in a seamless flow.

COM | 12. Detailing includes extensive woodwork and exposed roof structures.ARCHITECT | DESIGN | BUILD 2012 What is your favorite architectural icon in the world? Louie Tomaro: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie-style work such as Robie House. and photographs they took in Bali. living or historical. We are currently working on a more modern style glass project with horizontal floor plans. as inspiration to create their home on Braeholm Place in Hermosa Beach. I’d lean towards something like that with minimalistic touches. It is made of expansive glass and provides a 280 degree. LO U I E TO M A R O 68 SOUTHBAYDIGS. Tomaro built a wide-open palette of entry space that flows into the outdoors and is ideal for entertaining. Furnished indoor-outdoor spaces. panoramic ocean view. with its linear kind of lines and handle on geometry What architectural figure. and Fleetwood doors and windows. Perhaps the most stunning aspect of the house is the top-level master suite. has made the biggest impact on your career? Louie Tomaro: Frank Lloyd Wright If you could design your dream home. There is no place better than home. deemed The Treehouse.2012 TOMARO .” he explains. what style would it be and Louie Tomaro used his clients’ love for traveling. give the space a resort-like feel. where would you build it? Louie Tomaro: A building in The South Bay because of its climate and surroundings.14. “They were inspired by indoor and outdoor shots of lanai-type rooms.

The natural warming and cooling system includes an 8-foot overhang that allows the sun to naturally heat the home. mountains and Getty Center and level of sophistication in its build. has made the biggest impact on your career? Patrick Killen: Le Corbusier If you could design your dream home. later copies of that style cease to be architecture. because all other styles were modern when invented. materials materials. including a living area that blends into the kitchen. living or historical. Sun angles fill up the vacant spaces. what style would it be and where would you build it? Patrick Killen: Santa Monica Mountains. as do rooms mad of wood materials from top to bottom.2012 | SOUTHBAYDIGS. To be considered architecture and not just a building design. In an interview about the design+build project..ARCHITECT | DESIGN | BUILD 2012 What is your favorite architectural icon in the world? Patrick Killen: Eiffel Tower What architectural figure. Once that style is outdated or historic. rough PAT R I C K K I L L E N An eco-conscious and skilled contemporary architect. O 12. but does not have an empty feel.14. The structure has plenty of open space. it must be 2012 modern.” Linda Flora’s design.. Killen says that he likes to build work that is “timeless. it is example of modern for that period. P AT R I C K K I L L E N KILLEN Patrick Killen used and sun angles. not trendy.COM 69 . a Bel Air home. contemporary to design Linda Flora – 1239. views of the ocean. create a timeless trio that make it an supreme work of art.

It is truly the ideal Cape Cod or Hampton’s vacation home on the West Coast. (Morris cont. has made the biggest impact on your career? Matt Morris: There is no one single person. living or historical.14.ARCHITECT | DESIGN | BUILD 2012 MORRIS Matthew Morris designed the Kallis residence to be a traditional style house with a contemporary edge. They built a floor every three to four days.COM | 12. Although dynamic because it is the first of its kind to be built on a flat walk. 70 SOUTHBAYDIGS. the design brings a modern style influence to the Beach Cities. I pull from many different influences. What architectural figure. Artworks with red and green hues cover these smaller TV’s when they are not being used. It is an unbelievable feat to do it that fast with that much detail. Hamptons meets New York loft with modern and European influences. He included a media recreation room with an 80-inch television and two smaller TV’s on each side. If you could design your dream home. what style would it be and where would you build it? Matt Morris: I like a mixture of eclectic styles. the home also stands out because of creative choices.2012 . his designs are cutting edge and he took risks. To compliment the feel. Morris designed and built a full outdoor kitchen and an outdoor fireplace. on next page) What is your favorite architectural icon in the world? Matt Morris: The Empire state building. I admire Frank Lloyd Wright’s organization of space. The first project of its kind to be done on a flat walk street in Manhattan Beach.

weather barn. The interior design truly adds the finishing touches to this dream home. this place is great for both family time and entertaining. Though he did not make the house for anyone in particular. maybe when I was in school. “It was a lot of fun to build. the current homeowner is happy with his purchase. he set foot in the 25th street property and knew it was the one. living or historical. there is a lot of outdoor living space. If you could design your dream home. referring to the kid-friendly area. What is your favorite architectural icon in the world? Jon Starr: There is one particular architect my dad was friends with while I was growing up. I don’t try to imitate.14. my clients drive the design.2012 contrasted stucco and mahogany to further contribute to the “old and new” look. Inside. To fully utilize this non-typical space. After looking for two years. Starr used non-typical materials to create a play between old and new. “Since it’s a flat walk. Warm lighting and windows that reflect natural light work well with these outside materials. what style would it be and where would you build it? Jon Starr: It changes every week. and an indoor kitchen featuring sky blue tiles. When Jon Starr purchased a property on J O N S TA R R 25th street in Hermosa Beach. PHOTO BY: TOM SANDERS . has made the biggest impact on your career? Jon Starr: That Laguna Beach architect. are small details that truly complete the home. Vibrant blue furniture. I modeled what I do after him. including a deck with a bar and an area to dine. ensuring the property will age gracefully.” Morris explains. “Corten steel develops a uniform rust but also forms an anti-corrosive barrier.” It was located near valley park on an irregularly shaped hillside. it is all about the kids. What architectural figure.COM | 12. he knew that “taking advantage of it would be a challenge.ARCHITECT | DESIGN | BUILD 2012 With a first floor for living that includes a private entry. It gives the look of an old. All of his work was in our little town in Laguna Beach.” Starr says. Barn wood and Corten steel make up parts of the exterior. creative people who do creative stuff drive me. He STARR 72 SOUTHBAYDIGS. and of course lots of other great architects. there was one. Also.” Starr says.

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