Soaking up the sun

Nick Myall
Friday 01 Apr 2016

A Californian home that makes a virtue out of some old industrial ruins

Located on a remote beach in California, USA, the ruins of a former industrial site inspired Razvan Barsan + Partners to create a sea-side house inspired by the industrial era.  Reviving the existing layout has been a key concern while trying to integrate the residential function into the industrial setting with its ragged appearance. However, fitting the new building into the amazing surrounding and making the best of the views it has to offer led the architects through the design process. 

Naturally, the house had to be closely connected to the beach and to the ocean, so the architects envisioned a smooth transition from the house located on the beach, to the lounge area located on a dock to, finally, a small island oriented towards the ocean; all linked together by bridges.   

As a reference to the former industrial purpose Razvan Barsan + Partners created an "honest" architecture that completely reveals its structure and its technical equipment. As a result, the metal skeleton becomes not only the linkage between the three areas, but also the centrepiece of the composition. The wide glazed transparent surfaces allowed them to open the interiors to the dramatic scenery. The architects used local materials like wood, reed and bamboo in order to express the relationship between the construction and the exotic landscape. 

The project manages to transform an abandoned site and to restore it to its full potential - a balanced contemporary house that echoes the tie between the built and the natural environment and fits gracefully into its setting, giving the impression that it floats on water. 

Nick Myall

News Editor

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United States

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