Architect Portfolio: Hermosa Beach House on a Teeny Lot


Hermosa BeachThe more I study this “green” house, the more I like it. Of course, it’s more of a teardown and rebuild than a remodel, but the lot size — at 30 feet by 50 feet — presented plenty of challenges.

The 2,000-square-foot, three-bedroom house, which is two blocks from the beach in Hermosa, was designed for a family with two young children by architect Robert Nebolon. Here’s what the architect says about it:

“Privacy, sun-control and beach views were primary concerns. This ‘Upside Down’ house has the main spaces on the third floor, bedrooms on the second floor, and the entry on the first floor. And, there’s a roof deck on top!

“The house is ‘green’ and has a LEED Silver rating. The house utilizes natural-cooling methods. A large thermostatically operated skylight at the top of the stairs allows all rooms to ventilate naturally when the skylight is open to the daily afternoon ocean breeze from Hermosa Beach.

“The southern and western walls have a special skin designed to handle the salty environment, heavy sun and (provide) privacy. The glistening metallic prefinished metal siding has a special low-heat gain fluoro-carbon paint finish; the glass is all Low-E to minimize heat gain and glare, the heavily insulated wall construction has foil-coated plywood to minimize heat-gain; the wall cavity provides built-in valances for various shades/drapes, which allow the owners to carefully modulate/balance ocean views with heat gain to any degree they wish.

“Special polycarbonate panels at the main deck provide privacy from neighbors, while allowing light. The main deck trellis is constructed of clear anodized aluminum and is dramatically cantilevered for a column-free view. The intent was to visually link the deck with the living room by dramatic use of a 16-foot cantilever and by very large windows.”