Beach House


Architect: Richard Meier

Location: southern Califonia

Year: 1999-2001


Situated on a buit-up section of the Pacific Coast Highway, this house fronts the ocean to the south, a garden court to the west, and the highway to the north. The courtyard provides a visual and spatial link between the entry, the highway, and the ocean and creates an exterior living space.

The architectural promenade through the house begins at a translucent glazed entry and moves into the courtyard between the main body of the house and the guest suites. The two-story entrance hall provides a framed view through the living room to the ocean beyond. In turn, it is intersected at the second level by the glazed bridge and walkway.

The private ground-floor volumes are situated to the east of the entrance hall while the main living room opens into the courtyard. This double-height volume connects the internal space with the deck and the ocean through a full-height glass wall with sliding doors. Sunscreens and louvers built into the facade provide transitional space between the house and terrace and passively shade the glazed surfaces from sunlight.

The beams at the roof level, located above the fenestration, express the structural rhythm and layering of the components. This cadence is echoed in the pattern of the painted aluminum wall panels and modular windows. Elsewhere, the external plaster walls are juxtaposed with the transparent glazed facades, creating a mosaic of layered materials. This use of layered wall elements, intersected by transparent surfaces, dissolves the separation between inside and outside throughout the house