Own This Sustainably Designed Malibu Beach House For $5.7M

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Sited on one of the last undeveloped oceanfront lots along the Pacific Coast Highway, House Noir creatively addresses the issue of building near the sea in the face of climate change.

The award-winning home known as House Noir is nestled along a strip of prime coastal real estate in Malibu. While this idyllic location provides  amazing beachfront views, it originally presented a significant design challenge for the architects, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA): how to create a sustainable home in a place where coastal erosion and rising sea levels pose a real concern.

The firm successfully tackled this issue in more ways than one. They started by raising the 1,970-square-foot house 20 feet above the shoreline to build a seawall and a deep caisson foundation, and then secured the site, giving it the capability to absorb the energy of the sea in the event of a natural disaster. LOHA creatively conformed the design to local building restrictions, while also creating a seamless indoor/outdoor living experience to maximize the property's breathtaking coastal views. 

Now, this impressive two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath abode is up for sale and listed for $5,695,000

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Corrosive sea air can deteriorate metals and slowly peel away paint, so the architects wrapped the building in aluminum and a non-corrosive metal, and coated it in a resilient rustproof paint.

Corrosive sea air can deteriorate metals and slowly peel away paint, so the architects wrapped the building in aluminum and a non-corrosive metal, and coated it in a resilient rustproof paint.

LOHA’s design is a result of new code requirements and creatively working within limitations so that the project would successfully maximize the site potential. 

LOHA’s design is a result of new code requirements and creatively working within limitations so that the project would successfully maximize the site potential. 

Strategically placed openings on all sides of the façade secure the ocean and hillside views, and provide maximal natural light to all interior spaces. 

Strategically placed openings on all sides of the façade secure the ocean and hillside views, and provide maximal natural light to all interior spaces. 

Standing-seam siding folds up from the street façade over the roofline to the roof deck, creating a seamless transition between wall and roof. 

Standing-seam siding folds up from the street façade over the roofline to the roof deck, creating a seamless transition between wall and roof. 

The slightly trapezoidal shape of the site provides a rare opportunity for views down the coast from the interior of the house.

The slightly trapezoidal shape of the site provides a rare opportunity for views down the coast from the interior of the house.

Angled balconies at the first and second levels are accessed by floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, enhancing the indoor/outdoor living experience and allowing natural ventilation. 

Angled balconies at the first and second levels are accessed by floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, enhancing the indoor/outdoor living experience and allowing natural ventilation. 

 A central staircase with perforated metal treads and risers allows natural light to filter down from the roof-deck level through the center of the home. 

 A central staircase with perforated metal treads and risers allows natural light to filter down from the roof-deck level through the center of the home. 

The large stairwell connects all of the levels and allows for cross ventilation throughout the home. The passive ventilation strategies take advantage of the location’s climate.  

The large stairwell connects all of the levels and allows for cross ventilation throughout the home. The passive ventilation strategies take advantage of the location’s climate.  

 The guest-bedroom suite frames the hillside views above the street, increasing natural light and maintaining privacy.

 The guest-bedroom suite frames the hillside views above the street, increasing natural light and maintaining privacy.

Indoor/outdoor living areas were the focal point of the project, and helped define the sustainability strategies during design. 

Indoor/outdoor living areas were the focal point of the project, and helped define the sustainability strategies during design. 

House Noir as seen from above. 

House Noir as seen from above. 

20838 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu is being listed for $5,695,000, by Pritchett-Rapf Realtors. See the full listing here

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