Michael Lee Architects
Fowler-Stromgren Residence 2301 Manhattan Avenue, Manhattan Beach, CA
2005 Design

This 2,500 square foot, four-story single family residence sits on a corner lot in a dense beach-side neighborhood. The small size of the lot (30’x45’) limited the square footage that could be built and thus a full basement was added to maximize the lot’s potential. The house is divided hierarchically with the kitchen, living room and dining room on the top floor enjoying the best views. The master bedroom suite—with a small office/library—encompasses the second floor, and the entry, garage and a gym occupy the first floor. A basement level consists of service rooms with a bunk room/guest suite that allows the owners to host overnight guests in their own private sleeping quarters. A two-story window bathes the basement with light and visually connects it with the gym above. An elevator physically connects the basement to the other three levels of the dwelling. The glass-enclosed stairwell and expansive fenestration give this compact and efficient house a feeling of drama and intimacy at the same time.