Project: Manhattan Beach Ranch
Architects: Blue Truck Studio
Design Team: Eric Reeder, John Flaherty, Xuhan (Ben) Shi
Engineering: Palos Verdes Engineering
Landscape: Romana di Suvero
Construction/Fabrication: Bryan Bethem/Rough Workshop
Interior Design: Mary Valaika
Location: Manhattan Beach, California, United States
Photographs: Gregg Segal
Thrilled with the beach town location of their summer house in the Los Angeles area, but not with its loud ’90s-era architecture, a family of four approached Blue Truck Studio with a directive — tone it down. What they had: a Manhattan Beach Ranch with wild geometry, such as octagon-shaped rooms and triangular spaces. What they wanted: a home of simple forms and rustic textures, like the ones in the Northern California community of Sea Ranch.
On the exterior, Blue Truck Studio reconfigured windows and added siding, wrapping it around the house to simplify its form and provide privacy. The custom milled siding is Alaskan yellow cedar and was chosen specifically for how it will weather over time, graying out to create a rustic patina reminiscent of the Sea Ranch aesthetic. Blue Truck Studio created an all-new interior of calm, open spaces that flow easily into one another.
They removed a fireplace structure at the side of the living room that was blocking indoor movement. Floor-to-ceiling windows open to the home’s two patios, creating a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors. A pivot door and two large slider doors invite ample light inside. In an echo of the exterior of the home, cedar siding, painted white, wraps around the home’s stairwell.
Renovation of the 3,770-square-foot house in Manhattan Beach, California took 14 months. The family, which has roots in the Los Angeles area, wanted to create a home that would be as conducive to hosting friends and family as it was relaxation and quiet. The four-bedroom home has both, with large gathering areas for entertaining, but also living quarters tucked away for privacy. There are also many spaces and details geared towards recreation. A converted garage houses a play area and art studio. Meanwhile, a driveway turned soccer pitch and a slatted outdoor shower for hosing off after a trip to the beach reflects the family’s love of the outdoors.