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Surf House by Commune Design and Feldman Architecture: 2020 Best of Year Winner for Beach House

Photography by Stephen Kent Johnson.

“A professor who surfs” was the design conceit for a beach house overlooking one of the state’s best spots to hang ten. Jonathan Feldman, founding principal of Feldman Architecture, joined forces with Commune Design principal Roman Alonso to create a nuanced, sustainable building that eschews seen-it-all-before seaside tropes. No driftwood here; instead, the team sourced rich Monterey cypress from Aborica, a Marin County sawyer that reclaims and repurposes native Californian timber. The wood became cladding for both exterior and interior, joining soapstone, concrete, and unlacquered copper and brass—all selected for their predisposition to patinate in the salt air over time. Interiors masterminded by Commune read as “polished bohemian”: intellectual but free-spirited. Pieces from George Nakashima Woodworkers and BDDW mix with vintage and custom designs. The house covers 4,500 square feet, beginning with a front courtyard opening to the great room and kitchen. Farther in leads to the back patio, which, like the upstairs living and sleeping quarters, affords ocean views. There’s also a garage and, of course, a surfboard workshop.

Photography by Stephen Kent Johnson.
Photography by Stephen Kent Johnson.
Photography by Stephen Kent Johnson.
Photography by Stephen Kent Johnson.

Project Team: Roman Alonso; Abbey Santamaria; Sam Spenser (Commune Design); Jonathan Feldman; Christopher Kurrle; Matt Lindsay; Humbeen Geo; Leila Bijan Kuehr (Feldman Architecture).

> See the full list of winners and honorees from Best of Year 2020

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