Playa del Rey, Los Angeles, CA

After seeing our publication in Sunset magazine of the Longwell residence art shelves, Malibu District Attorney Ralph Shapiro met with us to help him design his new floating stair, mezzanine addition, and complete renovation to his home facing the beach in Playa del Rey. To transform the existing wood paneled structure into a minimalist modern home for the client, we clad the exterior fa├žade with a clean and precise anodized aluminum surface, used aluminum windows throughout, and updated the interior with all maple wood floors and cabinetry, white walls, and travertine stone tiles. As the client travels extensively collecting art from all over the world, we proposed art and display shelves throughout the interior adjacent to bookshelves and entertainment centers. For his wife who is an attorney and artist, we added an art studio on the first floor. In addition, we added display cabinetry for a new wine bar and extensive granite slab counters and fireplace surrounds throughout.


Central to their interest to modernize their home with a clean modern palette to create an art gallery effect, we designed two mezzanines above the double-height living area that provide for sitting areas and views of the living area and beach and marina beyond. Custom stainless steel rails with maple wood caps were used throughout, and a custom-cantilevered floating steel stair that winds up to the main mezzanine was suspended in the main living room. The new roof builds out from the old roof and folds up and over the upper mezzanine to capture the space and directing views down out towards the lagoon and beach. Large sliding wood and opaque glass panel doors slide shut to separate the mezzanine from the publicity of the rest of the house for seclusion and privacy when needed.

Principal Designer and Architect: 

Stephen Phillips, AIA, Ph.D

Project Team: 

Chris Nikkel, Cam Helland, Rich Porter, and Franco