Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Malibu Beach House

Malibu, California

2002 - 2006

The opportunity to design an oceanfront residence is a privilege that cannot be overstated. The site for this house and guesthouse is exceptional in its size and the amount of ocean frontage it enjoys compared to other properties on this south-facing Malibu beach.

The figure ground is designed to maximize the potential of the additional lot area which is a precious commodity. By splitting the program into separate structures, the beach’s sand and grasses are allowed to migrate into an entry courtyard as an extension of the landscape. Both of the structures have views to the ocean and courtyard that are filtered and framed by a layer of operable shutters that are independent of the building enclosure.

The houses are clad in teak, which also extends inside as floor and ceiling finishes. A cast-in-place concrete wall bisects the plan and is the physical link from the entry gate at the street elevation to the ocean gate and stairs leading to the beach. Detailed in bronze metal copings and finish hardware, the palette of materials – concrete, teak and bronze – is designed to weather and patina in response to the harsh oceanfront environment.

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