A Surf Shack with a Modernist Soul

When photographer Dewey Nicks and his wife Stephanie decided to build a beach house in Carpinteria, near Santa Barbara, the plan was to use the house as a weekend retreat from Los Angeles. But as their family got busier, they began to worry that they'd never be able to take advantage of the new property — and started contemplating making it their full-time home.

In designing the house, architect Barbara Bestor was inspired by midcentury designs (like those of Paul Rudolph), but didn't want the project be entirely derivative. "We didn't want to regurgitate expected modernist tropes." She also had to work around a lot of restrictions, like a building height limit of only 13 feet.

The end product is a house with a midcentury feel (flat roof, beamed ceilings, walls of windows, transoms galore) but a beachy warmth and casualness. It's the perfect home for the Nicks and their two young children.

In the end, the Nicks family decided to make a permanent move to Carpinteria. The new house is two-thirds the size of their old one in LA, but, Stephanie says, it's brought the family closer together. And having a beach in the backyard doesn't hurt.

See more photos at Bestor Architecture and read more about the project in the LA Times Magazine.

(Images: 1, 4-8. Bestor Architecture, 2 & 3. LA Times Magazine)

Originally published 6.4.12 - JL

18 Comments