Beach Scene
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Beach Scene

A modern Manhattan Beach home pays homage to midcentury design, and offers some unique twists, too.

Just blocks from the Pacific Ocean in Manhattan Beach, California, sits what has to be one of the most unique new homes in the area. And some – but certainly not all – of the credit for its uniqueness goes to the glassed-in crow’s nest, accessed via a bridge over the front-hall entry. The third-floor space, with its unique frustum shape (cylindrical with a top wider than the bottom) bi-parting the butterfly roof, can serve as a place for meditation or as an office.
Beach Scene
A combination of fixed and awning windows lets in tons of California sunshine and fresh air.
“It’s the centerpiece of the home,” says architect Daniel Salzman of El Segundo-based Salzman Design Build. “The concept was to merge the ideas of a lighthouse and a lifeguard station – since the home sits on a hill overlooking Manhattan Beach – and combine it with the 1960s jet-set vibe of the home.”
“We wanted to create an intimate connection with the side of the mountain coming right up to the home, and we wanted to create long, panoramic views of the Valley and mountains beyond,” says Cavin Costello, principal architect of The Ranch Mine, the Phoenix-based design firm that led the remodel. “We did this by rearranging the interior of the house and adding a front addition that allows every habitable room to open up to a shaded outdoor patio. And we provided ample glass to take in views from everywhere in the house.”
“When these doors are open, it looks tremendous.” Daniel Salzman, Salzman Design Build
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This bedroom features an array of shapes and sizes of big glass.
Of course, there’s also much more to this 7,100-square-foot, four-story modern midcentury residence, including attention paid to big glass and indoor-outdoor living possibilities.
In the vast great room/dining room, a 90-degree multi-slide door opens to a partially covered outdoor living space and a small but attractive, grassy backyard. One side of the 10-foot-tall 90-degree set of doors is a 26-foot-long multi-slide, and its perpendicular mate is 20 feet long. The doors meet at 90 degrees without the benefit of a connecting post.
“It brings a retro ‘60s vibe, but it also is super-comfortable and functional for parties and intimate get-togethers.” Daniel Salzman, Salzman Design Build
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A huge four-panel multi-slide opens from the great room to an outdoor living space.
“One of the core principles of great midcentury design was the indoor-outdoor flow, and we knew that windows and sliding glass walls would play a huge role in the home,” Salzman says. “When these doors are open, it looks tremendous.”
As eye-catching as the 90-degree multi-slide is, it might not even be the most attention-getting aspect of the great room, because in the middle of it is a sunken “conversation pit” next to a more traditional living room setup. For added appeal, the pit is positioned beside a huge fireplace.
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Tasteful interior design meets a contemporary aesthetic found in Western Window Systems products.
“To me, it’s just pure fun,” says Salzman. “It brings a retro ‘60s vibe, but it also is super-comfortable and functional for parties and intimate get-togethers. Its mere existence is a conversation starter!”
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The transition from the indoors to the outside is blurred with this massive multi-slide.
And speaking of fun, the six-bedroom, eight-bathroom home features an exercise room, wine cellar, and an in-home movie theater, outfitted with four large couches. The home recently was listed at $8.4 million.
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Thanks to the flush sill on this multi-slide the interior and exterior of the home become one and the same.
The architect also brought indoor-outdoor living to the master bathroom, where next to a large soaking tub, a multi-slide door leads to a private deck, complete with an outdoor shower and vine-filled trellis.
“I needed windows and doors to be both beautiful and functional, as well as efficient, to adhere to today’s strict energy codes.” Daniel Salzman, Salzman Design Build
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The unique fustrum shape of the third floor along with the butterfly roof set the home apart from the rest.
Large banks of operable windows, as well as fixed angular clerestory windows, appear elsewhere throughout the home, providing tons of natural light and allowing breezes off the nearby Pacific Ocean to course through the home.
The energy-efficient windows from Western Window Systems, solar panels on the rooftop, and smarthome technology combine for a truly energy-efficient home, something in which Salzman takes great pride.
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Clever angles and big glass abound in the Manhattan Beach home.
“As a green builder who built one of the first LEED-certified homes, in the South Bay in 2009, energy efficiency is of paramount importance,” he says. “I needed windows and doors to be both beautiful and functional, as well as efficient, to adhere to today’s strict energy codes.”

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