Bohemian Surf House home sits on Californian beachfront

Bohemian Surf House home sits on Californian beachfront

Surf House by Feldman Architecture is in touch with its ocean-front setting

A private family home commission in an unassiming neighbourhood led to a hidden jewel of a house in the city of Santa Cruz, California. Designed by Feldman Architecture, Surf House is a modern, bohemian home packed with character, sustainability credentials and connections with nature

Set right at the edge of one of the state’s best surf breaks, the house was conceived as a respectful, low-profile building. Its clean, modernist forms were created to be sensitive both to its immediate natural context and the community beyond, keeping a simple material palette.  

‘The home is sited as a wind break,’ explain the architects. ‘The rear yard and deck capitalise on ocean views, while the entry and front courtyard, tucked behind two separate structures, sit where the sun shines most in the winter, acting as a warm, light-filled cloister all year round, protected from the coastal winds.’

sifting boards peeking out from living space at the Surf House

The architects worked with Evan Shively of Arborica, a local timber specialist that reclaims and repurposes native Californian timber. They used Monterey Cypress for the house, cladding it inside and out for a warm, textured feel. The wood creates an all-natural wrapper for the home. ‘Waste in the milling process was minimised by holistically integrating every level of wood grade into the design,’ adds the team. Interiors were done by Commune Design and landscaping by Ground Studio. 

Spanning two levels, the house contains a range of more public-feeling, flowing spaces on the ground level. The living areas open towards the ocean through a glazed front, with courtyards, decked terraces, and sliding windows at every turn, ensuring that the landscape remains strongly present everywhere. Upstairs, the architects have placed the bedrooms, tucked away in a more private setting, while large windows frame picture-perfect views of the sea. §

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