Schwarzman-2 Outrigger, Marina del Rey

Take a 3,004 square foot condominium and remodel it into 3,106 square feet. A condominium which occupies only the top two floors of a four-floor building, thus ruling out any changes to the box-like 1970’s exterior frame. In an area where picture windows tend to freeze-frame the world outside and de-emphasize interior living space, and where, ironically, noted contemporary artists and professionals seek refuge from the day-to-day, take this oceanfront residence and transform it into a home for a 21st century family concerned with the environment and the surrounding upscale bohemian and professional community, a home which will not only provide the parents with a daily respite from high-pressure occupations, but will also of itself be upbeat, inspiring and joyful. This was our map to which we kept referring…

Literally located on the edge of the ocean-with its calming combination of sand and sound placed against a remarkable backdrop of intense color and brightness-this remodel, from the inside , could easily have been swallowed-up by the view or, from the outside, disconnected from its eclectic surroundings. Keeping the skeletal “box” of the exterior, a necessary challenge since other residential units occupied the remaining two floors of the building, actually helped us look deeper into the role of oceanfront architecture.

Our design effort from the beginning was to place both the interior and exterior as figuratively on the edge of the ocean as it was literally, to connect the remodel to the surroundings by drawing upon colors, materials and design elements to weave a bold but harmonious, wave-like thread throughout. From the exterior, and reflected by the interior of both the living room and master bedroom, we pulled in the “picture-frame” windows and created, with tilts and curves, an undulating glass wall of contours behind the original skeletal frame. The oceanfront was an inspiration for the use of wood and Matisse-like bright colors on the walls, flowing in and out of the rooms, and even the calm “grotto” atmosphere, accentuated with natural flagstone, of the master bath. In fact, the relying upon the simplicity and extensive use of these natural materials, paints, and stains made it both a necessity and spiritual joy to work closely, and creatively, with a client concerned with keeping the budget low, under $50. A square foot, while not compromising the quality gained through an appreciation of art, ecology, and the proximity to both the ocean and the adjacent residential buildings. From the patchwork stain of the kitchen cabinetry on the inside, to the undulating natural wood buffer behind existing, previously obtrusive, steel verticals and stucco walls on the outside, this project has been less a statement and more a response. On the edge? Of course! But still on the map. 

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