Lawrence House | Los Angeles Conservancy
Lawrence House
Photo by Robert Lochner on Flickr

Lawrence House

Hermosa Beach's Lawrence House is a local icon of Late Modern /Deconstructivist design, not to mention the tallest residence in town. Completed in 1984, the house was designed by Thom Mayne and Michael Rotondi of Morphosis. They aimed to complement the mixed-use neighborhood by combining the volume of an apartment building with the form and feeling of a single-family home.

The four-story house is tall and narrow, with its living spaces on the top floor to maximize views of the ocean just steps away. It features simple, pure lines that emphasize its verticality and upended-rectangle shape, and is clad in zinc-coated stainless steel for an efficient, industrial look. The simple front façade conceals the gabled roof of a volume that looks like a single-family house partially encased within the Deconstructivist design.

The building's interior spaces flow into and around each other, moving ever upward (and accessed by an elevator in addition to a stairway); while some unfavorably compare the interior to an M. C. Escher painting, others enjoy its complexity and feeling of movement. Light and air are emphasized, starting with a three-story-tall entryway illuminated by glass brick. In 2002, Daly Genik Architects sensitively renovated the house to soften some interior edges without changing the heart of the original Morphosis design.

Photo by Michael Locke

Kubly House

Sitting in an old eucalyptus grove, the giant trees providing privacy for the transparent house, this post-and-beam residence is a spare, horizontal box that is lifted pavilion-like off the ground.
Photo courtesy Architectural Resources Group

Binder House

As both owner and occupant, architect Rebecca Binder made her mark on the landscape and also lives with every decision she made.