A floating wood volume, clad in modified board-and-batten wood siding, is elevated above the beach to maximize views of the ocean while maintaining privacy.

Studio Name: Appel Architects
Design Team: Brett Appel, Terri Lee
Area: Los Angeles, California, USA
Year: 2016
Location: Playa del Rey
Photography Credits: Tim Hirschmann

King Beach House I By Appel Architects - Sheet4
©Tim Hirschmann

This house was designed for Brett’s parents. Over 50 years ago, Brett’s grandfather bought the property and commissioned Brett’s father, Mark, who is also an architect and general contractor (now retired), to design and build a new house for the family. Completed in 1974, the original house caught the attention of a local developer who was attending a volleyball tournament on the beach. He knocked on the door and asked who the architect was. This led to a 20 year, very successful partnership designing and building custom single family homes all over LA. About 40 years after that house was first built, Brett’s parents wanted to give us the same opportunity his dad had, so they asked us to design a new house for them on the same site.

King Beach House I By Appel Architects - Sheet7
©Tim Hirschmann

The old house had been empty for several years and had suffered the wear and tear of ocean weather, there was termite damage, and even a small electrical fire. We wanted to keep what we could, so we saved certain elements from the old house, such as the original travertine fireplace and stained glass windows. We also repurposed the original bar from the first house to create a custom coffee table for the main living area. The original house that Brett’s father built was featured in Magic Mike before it was torn down (it was Mike’s house)

King Beach House I By Appel Architects - Sheet9
©Tim Hirschmann

There were 2 very specific client requests :
1. To hear water flowing from anywhere in the house. We designed the house around a three story atrium with a custom built waterfall along the main stair. The water is recirculated from a
well that is collected from rain barrels on the property.
2. To see the beach from the master bath. This proved challenging as the house is very long and narrow, and the beach facing facade was obviously dedicated to the main living spaces. To achieve this, we cut the building back at the third floor to create a corner window that looks over the adjacent property onto Playa del Rey beach.
The entire ground floor was treated as an indoor/outdoor entertainment space with glass doors that open up completely for unobstructed views to the beach. An open plan on the second floor allows for views to the ocean from the kitchen and main living room.


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