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This California based home by MGS Architecture required adding two residential units to a property already accommodating a beach cottage.


The project is a residential compound of 3,000 square feet located on a 6,500 square foot lot. The program called for adding two residential units to a property already accommodating a beach cottage. Most importantly to the client, the project had to be easy to maintain, durable, comfortable, and on budget.

The double residence has an orange corrugated aluminum façade with strategically placed aluminum windows carrying green-tinted glass. To break the volume of the building, the metal corrugation runs in two directions. The contrasting orientations interact with the sun at various times during the day to create startling effects.

The window locations address the need to provide privacy while maximizing interior natural light. The lack of a front yard found redress in the design of roof decks which provide spectacular views and are spacious enough for entertaining and hosting large gatherings.

The interior of the building has ceilings rising over 12 feet and tall windows to provide light and a roomy feeling. The common space of each unit has an open floor plan organized around a central fireplace.

The floors are of polished concrete with hydronic heating which in tall spaces creates ideal comfort zones at the human level. The thermostat can be set a few degrees lower than if a FAU system were used, saving money and resources.

Operable skylights connected to rain sensors sit atop the staircases and provide natural ventilation. The ceilings are run in bamboo paneling and the bedrooms have palmwood floors.

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