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With a median home price of $2.8 million, Manhattan Beach is clearly an affluent city with beautiful, luxurious homes. These homes can be found throughout the city’s five residential sections, including the Sand Section, which sits directly on the ocean and houses residences that are usually small and have several stories; the Tree Section, where homes have yards and square footages of up to 3,000 square feet; the Hill Section, which is most known for its spectacular views, large lots, and spacious streets; Manhattan Village, where homeowners can live in a safe, gated community; and the Poet’s Section, where several streets are named after famous poets and feature multiple parks as well as nationally recognized schools.
Creating the eye-catching homes in these sections are some of the most talented architects in the city, of which the top 12 are featured here. These firms have several years of experience, and most of them have been featured in Luxe, Dwell, Architect Magazine, Forbes, The Los Angeles Times, and CA Home + Design. Many of the firms are also affiliated with industry organizations such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Institute of Classic Arts & Architecture (ICAA), Build it Green, and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). With such credentials, the firms on this list are certainly capable of designing the most beautiful residences in one of the most luxurious cities in California.
5171 West Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90232
Established in 1999, Abramson Architects is a multi-faceted practice known for crafting inventive designs that still reflect its Southern Californian roots. As a signature style, Abramson Architects utilizes clean lines and striking forms infused with layers of light and texture that maintain natural dimensions. Over the years, Abramson Architects has worked on religious and educational facilities as well as various commercial buildings but focuses primarily on single family homes. Its most notable project is the Perrin Residence. Previously a stucco box transformed into a modern home, its front facade was redesigned with large openings. The lower floor features accordion-style glass doors installed to create a seamless connection between the inside of the house and the front garden. The home’s exterior palette combines a subtle mix of smooth trowel stucco and honed limestone emboldened with dark-stained mahogany siding.
With beautiful homes like these, the firm has been showered with numerous awards, such as the AIA San Fernando Valley Chapter’s 2019 Honor Award for Residential Architecture. The firm has also been featured in various magazines, including Architectural Digest, CA Home + Design, and The Los Angeles Times.
746 4th St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Established in 2016 by Brett Buchmann, who has been designing homes in L.A. for more than 15 years, the firm has built up a portfolio of homes in various styles, including Modern, Contemporary, Mediterranean, Spanish, Revival, and Traditional. Among its many projects, its most notable is 1111 Highview. The three-story modern beach house’s facade features stone and wood, while the home’s minimalist interior makes use of classy marble, which is most prevalent in the wide and open kitchen. Including this eye-catching home, Buchmann Design has designed more than 150 homes and other small commercial projects. The firm’s work has been featured in South Bay Home, South Bay Digs Magazine, Cottage Magazine, and Valmonte Life.
296 Redondo Ave., Long Beach, CA 90803
Well-versed in designing unique homes, Jeannette Architects was established in 2000 by owner and lead architect Jeff Jeannette, who has been in the industry since 1992. Since its inception, the firm has built its portfolio to include homes of varying styles, including Mid-Century Modern, Beach Cottage, Craftsman, Victorian, Cape Cod, Mediterranean, and Tuscan. Among these many projects, one of the firm’s most notable is a 1951 mid-century modern home in Manhattan Beach. The firm conducted excellent remodeling of the home’s exterior, as well as its front, entry, and rear courtyard spaces. Because Jeannette Architects has experience crafting a plethora of home styles, the firm has honed its skills in adapting to design constraints for small lots and has developed an understanding of how to respectfully place homes on large, complicated hillside lots. The firm is also known for using sustainable features, including passive and active solar design and cutting-edge heating/cooling and electrical technologies.
Over the years, Jeannette Architects’ skills have been recognized with awards like the Cerritos City Wide Pride Beautification Award, the Concrete Block Grand Award for Southwest US, and the Long Beach Heritage Preservation Award. The firm is also associated with Build It Green, the USGBC, the AIA, The ReUse People, Long Beach Heritage, and the Palm Springs Modern Community.
Joseph Spierer Architects Inc.
707 Torrance Blvd. Suite #100, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Established in 2009, Joseph Spierer Architects Inc. is known for having a strong sense of inventiveness that is reflected in the team’s innovative approach to traditional ideas. Its portfolio is filled with projects completed for homeowners and business owners. The firm has designed homes in the Mediterranean, Contemporary, Modern, and Traditional styles. Among these homes, its most notable is a Manhattan Beach residence. A three-story contemporary home located near the commercial center of downtown Manhattan Beach, this home’s most striking features appear in the uppermost level. A sloping ceiling opens up to the ocean view, and expansive glass windows surround the living space. With an open floor plan, the top floor is filled with an abundance of natural light.
Because of such projects, the firm has been recognized in publications like Dwell, South Bay Magazine, Home + Design, Architect Blueprint, Best of Oceanside Living, and Oceanside Economic Development News. Currently, the firm is managed by principal architect Joseph Spierer, who has been working in the industry since 2004.
Joyce Flood + Associates
505 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Ste. #4, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Featured in Domino, Southbay Home, Southbay Magazine, and Easy Reader News, Joyce Flood + Associates was established in 1996 by Joyce Flood. Working in the industry for more than 30 years, Flood is known for always being around the construction site to work with builders after easily crafting designs that cater to clients’ unique lifestyles. This work ethic has led the firm to gain experience in designing homes in several styles, including Coastal, Cape Cod, Spanish, Mediterranean, Contemporary, Craftsman, Traditional, and Farmhouse. Among these various projects, the firm’s most notable is a residence in Manhattan Beach’s Tree Section. A modern beach house, this two-story home was designed and built around an existing pool. Finished in a California Coastal style, its design connects the indoors and outdoors into a single living space.
725 Cypress Ave., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Founded in 2014, Laney LA is an emerging architecture and design studio dedicated to inspiring creative culture. Recently recognized by the AIA for a prestigious residential architecture award, this team has established a strong reputation for high-tech, high-touch service and a portfolio of some of the most thoughtful and forward-thinking beach homes along the coast of California. Amongst its clients and the local community, the Laney LA design ethos results in projects that are not only beautifully designed but also, community-focused, environmentally responsive, and rooted in the unique climate and context of Los Angeles. In addition to its recent award, this firm has gained widespread recognition from publications such as ArchDaily, Southbay Magazine, Botena, and Luxe. Amongst the incredible portfolio of projects ranging from the modern, award-winning Black Barn to the eclectic British contemporary home, its most notable project is the Manhattan Ave residence. A modern, gabled beach bungalow, the home has a robust facade of dark blue wood softened by traditional windows and Canadian stone. Highlighting California’s trademark of indoor-outdoor living, this home’s best feature is an oversized and elevated balcony. Serving as a private outdoor living room, it features a great view, a shade to protect from the heat, a fireplace, built-in heaters, speakers, and wifi. It’s the place to be all year round.
LMD Architecture Studio
4616 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Lawndale, CA 90260
Established in 2010, LMD Architecture Studio specializes in working closely with homeowners to ensure that reasonable choices are made to improve or built their new home, while keeping in mind current construction values. The firm designs homes in various architectural styles, including Contemporary and Mid-Century. Among these homes, one of the most notable examples is the 19th Street residence. Originally built in 1957, the two-story, 3,700-square-foot residence was transformed into a contemporary, open-floor-plan layout that emphasizes views as well as indoor/outdoor spatial relationships.
The firm is led by Architect Luis Murillo, AIA. who has been practicing Architecture in Southern California since 1997.
Pritzkat & Johnson Architects
306 Vista Del Mar Suite A, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Pritzkat & Johnson Architects’s team has utilized its 45 years of combined experience to work on projects throughout Southern California. The firm builds residential projects in the Beach, Craftsman, Spanish, Colonial Revival, Ranch, Italian, Traditional, European, Modern, and Contemporary styles. Among these many projects, the firm’s most notable is a Spanish Colonial Revival home in Palos Verdes Estates. With projects like these, the firm has been recognized by publications like the South Bay HOME Architect Showcase, South Bay Digs, and Easy Reader/Beach Magazine. In 2013, the firm received Professional Remodeler’s Gold Design Award. This award-winning firm is currently managed by architects and principals Miles Pritzkat and Keith Johnson, who both gathered years’ worth of industry experience at Edward Carson Beall & Associates prior to establishing the firm.
2507 W 190th St., Redondo Beach, CA 90278
A boutique design and build studio, ras-a studio is composed of architects, designers, and builders who are experienced in various scales of residential, commercial, interior, and landscape design. It was established by lead principal Robert Sweet and ever since then, its skills and abilities have earned recognition from magazines like Architect, Dwell, LA Times, Architectural Digest, Wall Street Journal, and Residential Architect. The firm has also earned a number of awards over the years. In 2019, it received three of the AIA’s Honor Awards, Architect Magazine’s 2018 Residential Architect Design Award, and three of the AIA’s 2017 Citation Awards.
Among its many eye-catching projects, one of its most notable is the Walk-Street House. A two-story, 2,110-square-foot home, this residence was recognized with the 2019 AIA Honor Award and the RADA Honorable mention. It gets its name from its location, which fronts a pedestrian-only street in Hermosa Beach. A mechanical, two-car stacker parking lift was also installed in the garage to prevent cars from crowding the street. Though the home is snug in a 30 foot by 70 foot lot, it has an open plan, large openings, and natural ventilation. Another one of its many notable features is a 27-foot long pocket sliding door that opens from the living, dining, and kitchen areas to a patio running the length of the lot.
Rockefeller Kempel Architects
145 Standard St., El Segundo, CA 90245
Established in 2002, Rockefeller Kempel Architects has been featured in several publications, such as Luxe, Sunset Magazine, Travel + Leisure, South Bay Magazine, Coastal Living Details, and Forbes Life. The firm has also received a plethora of awards, including the 2018 Gold Nugget Award and the 2019 USGBC-LA Sustainable Innovation Award. These recognitions were earned thanks to the firm’s team of architects, who are known for their skill in designing innovative and timeless buildings with stunning interiors that tell the unique stories of each client. Leading this team are partners D. “Rocky” Rockefeller and Christopher Kempel. Prior to establishing the firm, Rockefeller served as managing partner at Rockefeller/Hricak, an award-winning firm in Los Angeles from 1981 to 2002.
With this team, the firm has designed various projects, including custom residential estates, ground-up hotels, restaurants, historic adaptive reuse conversions, multifamily residential housing, and corporate interiors. Though its portfolio is filled with wonderful projects, its most notable project is the 33rd Street Residence. A project that required the team’s careful planning, the modern style home is located off a walk street and has views of the Pacific Ocean and the Malibu coastline. After its completion, the project was featured in numerous publications, including MARU Magazine, Los Angeles Times Online, Coastal Living, and Southbay Magazine.
2617 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Ste #100, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Established in 1990, Tomaro Architecture has maintained a work philosophy that has led to several referrals and repeat clients. Such clients have helped the firm gain experience in designing beach, mountain, modern, contemporary, Mediterranean, and transitional homes. In creating homes in these various styles, the firm uses creative designs that are known for being blueprints to cohesive and intriguing buildings that merge functional spaces with flowing circulation. The firm also emphasizes natural light and spaces that capture views in its designs. A great example of this is its work on the contemporary styled Tennyson Place. With skills in the use of 3D models, digital imaging, and hand-drawn color renderings, Tomaro Architecture is most known for having high standards for excellence in design and construction and a commitment to client satisfaction.
Vertebrae Architecture & Design
505 W Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90015
Harmony, rhythm, asymmetry, and balance. To manifest these universal architectural principles, Vertebrae Architecture & Design uses both digital and analog tools when crafting new projects. Over the years, the firm has developed a reputation for following in the trajectory of the Light and Space art movement of the 1960s by using emergent materials and cutting-edge fabrication techniques that play with light, volume, and scale. Its work ethic has allowed the firm to create a plethora of projects, which range from residential and commercial work to sculptures and large-scale public installations. These projects have earned the firm recognition from publications like Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and Dwell. In 2018, the firm also earned the AIA California Council’s Small Project Merits Award.
Vertebrae Architecture & Design was established in 2012 by Lisa Little. A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and the Southern California Institute of Architecture with a Masters in architecture, Little has been in the industry since 1990 and is also the co-founder of Layer—a Los Angeles-based architecture firm.
Welch Design Studio
2280 East Maple Ave., El Segundo, CA 90245
Established in 2006, Welch Design Studio specializes in designing high-end residences of various styles, including Modern, Classic, Contemporary, Tuscan, Spanish, and French. Among these many projects, its most notable is a postmodern home called The Residence. The home itself is recognized as a work of art and confronts visitors with various elements of complex design philosophy mixed together by designers Lisa and Marc Welsh. Though it has a plethora of notable features, this home is basically a modern mix of wood tones, sleek glass, and clean lines that, combined, display a minimalist home still bursting with style. With homes like these, the firm has been featured in magazines like SouthBay Magazine and Architect and earned the 2018 International Architecture Award for Residential Concept.
Currently, the firm is managed by Lisa and Marc Welsh. Lisa was recognized as one of 2019’s Top 10 Women in Architecture, and Marc has earned numerous awards, including the Gold Nugget Grand and Builder’s Choice Awards.