Design/Builder Steve Lazar is an avid surfer and craftsman who has always been inspired by iconic seaside architecture. His latest project, entitled “The Lifeguard Tower,” rises three stories high on a corner lot with an expansive view of Hermosa Beach in California. If this isn’t a dream location, I don’t know what is…
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The 3600-square-foot home is inspired by the classic architecture and lifeguard towers of Maine and Cape Cod, where Lazar spent his childhood. It comprises three parallelogram structures that ascend from the base to the tower, where the residence narrows at the top into the “look-out” tower room. The tower room walks out onto a picturesque grass-covered entertainment and dining deck that faces the ocean, and includes its own water filtration system. At night, the tower glows like a beacon of light, as it is beautifully illuminated through multiple windows that surround the structure.
The Lifeguard Tower is also an experience in green living, as it incorporates the weather-worn reclaimed wood of a 200 year-old barn. The barn wood doesn’t need to be treated or sealed, and Lazar has been conscious of not trapping the wood against the stucco base, so that it can continue to breathe and endure the elements. The home also utilizes a sophisticated water filtration system and features on demand radiant heating and air. Because the home takes advantage of light and air from every corner and is impeccably insulated, air conditioning is seldom necessary. Dual-glazed windows with a shaded reflective film deters the heat of the sun, keeping the residence cool year-round. This, coupled with the unusual 36″ eaves which Lazar specially designed, creates more shade than in ordinary construction.
The Lifeguard Tower features an expansive living area and kitchen, four bedrooms and three full baths. The floors contain very broad planks comprised of East white pine, which are not only a nod to classic Cape Cod floors, but also, because of their dimensions, have better wear and tear over the years. The kitchen features stainless steel with espresso-colored countertops, and charming shaker-style cabinetry.
Lazar has creatively and methodically managed to appeal to both traditional and contemporary architecture buffs with the Lifeguard Tower. It is a romantic gesture to the past and a simultaneous whimsical nod to contemporary California beach-side living.
Photography by Laura Hull.