Noel Cross+Architects
Architects & Building Designers
Breakers Beach House beach-style-exterior

Breakers Beach House

Firmness . . .
Santa Cruz’s historically eclectic Pleasure Point neighborhood has been evolving in its own quirky way for almost a century, and many of its inhabitants seem to have been around just as long. They cling to the relaxed and funky seaside character of their beach community with an almost indignant provinciality. For both client and architect, neighborhood context became the singular focus of the design; to become the “poster child” for compatibility and sustainability. Dozens of photos were taken of the surrounding area as inspiration, with the goal of honoring the idiosyncratic, fine-grained character and informal scale of a neighborhood built over time.

A low, horizontal weathered ipe fence at the street keeps out surfer vans and neighborhood dogs, and a simple gate beckons visitors to stroll down the boardwalk which gently angles toward the front door. A rusted steel fire pit is the focus of this ground level courtyard, which is encircled by a curving cor-ten garden wall graced by a sweep of horse tail reeds and tufts of feather grass.

Extensive day-lighting throughout the home is achieved with high windows placed in all directions in all major rooms, resulting in an abundance of natural light throughout. The clients report having only to turning on lights at nightfall. Notable are the numerous passive solar design elements: careful attention to overhangs and shading devices at South- and West-facing glass to control heat gain, and passive ventilation via high windows in the tower elements, all are significant contributors to the structure’s energy efficiency.

Commodity . . .
Beautiful views of Monterey Bay and the lively local beach scene became the main drivers in plan and section. The upper floor was intentionally set back to preserve ocean views of the neighbor to the north. The surf obsessed clients wished to be able to see the “break” from their upper floor breakfast table perch, able to take a moment’s notice advantage of some killer waves. A tiny 4,500 s.f. lot and a desire to create a ground level courtyard for entertaining dictated the small footprint. A graceful curving cor-ten and stainless steel stair descends from the upper floor living areas, connecting them to a ground level “sanctuary”.

A small detached art studio/surfboard storage shack in the back yard fulfills functional requirements, and includes an outdoor shower for the post-surf hose down. Parking access off a back alley helps to preserve ground floor space, and allows in the southern sun on the view/courtyard side. A relaxed “bare foot beach house” feel is underscored by weathered oak floors, painted re-sawn wall finishes, and painted wood ceilings, which recall the cozy cabins that stood here at Breakers Beach for nearly a century.

Delight . . .
Commemorating the history of the property was a priority for the surfing couple. With that in mind, they created an artistic reproduction of the original sign that decorated the property for many decades as an homage to the “Cozy Cabins at Breakers Beach”, which now graces the foyer.

This casual assemblage of local vernacular architecture has been informed by the consistent scale and simple materials of nearby cottages, shacks, and bungalows. These influences were distilled down to a palette of board and batt, clapboard, and cedar shiplap, and synthesized with bolder forms that evoke images of nearby Capitola Wharf, beach lifeguard towers, and the client’s “surf shack” program requirements. The landscape design takes its cues from boardwalks, rusted steel fire rings, and native grasses, all of which firmly tie the building to its local beach community. The locals have embraced it as one of their own.

Architect - Noel Cross Architect
Landscape Architect - Christopher Yates
Interior Designer - Gina Viscusi-Elson
Lighting Designer - Vita Pehar Design
Contractor - The Conrado Company

This photo has 2 questions

April 7, 2014
4yaya wrote:
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Noel Cross+Architects
Not to my knowledge. Depending on the time of day, the camera exposure, sun angles, computer monitors, etc., paint colors can look different as . . . well, night and day. Th best strategy is to buy half a dozen small cans of paint and experiment for a few days.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 7:53AM
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O.k., thank you.
    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 8:20AM
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July 1, 2012
aquacats wrote:
what color is that blue paint?
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Noel Cross+Architects
Benjamin Moore “Night Train” Grey # 1567
1 Like    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 9:16PM
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What Houzz contributors are saying:

Marianne Lipanovich added this to Lay of the Landscape: Coastal Garden Style
Make Sure Your Hardscape Fits In A wooden boardwalk is a natural option for a natural or cottage coastal garden. In a just-planted garden, it will serve as a foil to the plants ...
Amy Renea added this to Boardwalks Bridge the Gap to Nature
Consider installing planking for practical purposes, aesthetic appeal or to get closer to the wildlife that lives nearby. Whether you choose weathered pine or redwood, stained finishes or a natural glow, boardwalks can give your space a whole new vibe and a whole new purpose.

What Houzzers are commenting on:

designer92 added this to SUE & PAT FRANCOIS
16 hours ago
blue exterior
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on Sunday
Combined colors
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last Saturday
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Exterior color
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February 22, 2015
Tiny beach house
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February 21, 2015
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side walls
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Hose color
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Exterior paint color
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February 1, 2015
Beach house exterior. Blue siding and window and roof design
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January 31, 2015
Grass / walkway
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January 28, 2015
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January 26, 2015
The pergolas
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January 24, 2015
outdor staircase
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January 22, 2015
Grasses in beds
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January 21, 2015
Night train
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January 18, 2015
Benjamin Moore's Night Train Gray.
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Steel walls
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December 11, 2014
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Exterior colors
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November 26, 2014
white over hangs
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Siding colour
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Benjamin Moore “Night Train” Grey # 1567
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color, color, color
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November 12, 2014
outside color and windows
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October 22, 2014
Benjamin Moore night train -color
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October 22, 2014
COOL Beach house.
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October 18, 2014
Dream home
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Above windows
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Decked path
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Coconut Point Marina
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Mix between contemporary and classic feel?
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corner facade
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Enclosed area
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stairs, wood treads
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August 29, 2014
Paint color is ben moore "night Train" Grey #1567
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August 25, 2014
Miriam Godfrey added this to Seaside Wharf Cottage
August 25, 2014
Board walks over crushed stone to ramp and dock from deck.
skipdot added this to beach house
August 16, 2014
This house is super groovy. Love the top floor access via the outdoor staircase.
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August 9, 2014
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July 29, 2014
sweet beach house!
abbeyjweiss added this to Abbey Ideas
July 25, 2014
Badass house.
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July 11, 2014
22saul22 added this to Beach reno
July 10, 2014
window overhang adds modern beach touch cools down window area
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Exterior paint color
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rear staircase
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May 29, 2014
Benjamin Moore Night Train Turquoise
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May 22, 2014
Ext paint
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May 16, 2014
I like the combination of brown, blue and white trim.
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May 2, 2014
The 'beachiness' .. ☺
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April 29, 2014
Living without air conditioning is unimaginable for many people, but given the right design, planning and house orientation, it should be possible to live without the need for mechanical cooling by: •Cutting down on direct sunlight in warm months •Drawing warm air out of the interior •Tightening the envelope to keep heat from infiltrating •Designing spaces that keep the air cool in the "occupied zone"
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April 28, 2014
Color for shutters
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board and batten
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Deck with paving underneath
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April 10, 2014
Siding color
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Outdoor paint color
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Walkway raised
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March 31, 2014
Window casings colors of steps and deck. Contrast of white trim, blue base green yellow accent
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March 28, 2014
integrated entrance to house
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March 28, 2014
path, outdoor stairs
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March 27, 2014
CH-Deck over flat roof
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March 24, 2014
same house different light
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March 20, 2014
Wooden path
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March 16, 2014
Deck overhanging
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Rooftop lookout
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Benjamin Moore night train
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Beach house
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Beach house
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February 3, 2014
Colores pared
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January 28, 2014
Beautiful beach house
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January 26, 2014
Interesting expansion going up option
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January 5, 2014
wood walkway
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December 15, 2013
Like decking over garden west side of house?
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December 8, 2013
like the wood overhang that maybe could be the structure to hold cover 360 walk around
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December 7, 2013
Wooden walkway
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November 25, 2013
Like the walls look
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November 3, 2013
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Paint color
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Walkway plus grass
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October 14, 2013
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September 24, 2013
contempo beach house
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Beach tower
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September 12, 2013
Cool deck
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September 7, 2013
Barbara Mitchell_Mader added this to Coastal Exterior Paint
September 4, 2013
Benjamin Moore “Night Train” Grey # 1567
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August 30, 2013
perfect porch on loft level. watch the fireworks from here.
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August 12, 2013
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August 12, 2013
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August 5, 2013
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August 2, 2013
arbour on roof - awesome
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July 15, 2013
One bedroom idea for Resort
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July 12, 2013
Board and batten
cfoster81 added this to Backyard
July 3, 2013
Like the walkway, like the look of the yard
wwitcig added this to Exterior Ideas
June 27, 2013
How about angling them and make a pergola shade over individual windows
tracylangendoerfer added this to tracylangendoerfer's ideas
June 25, 2013
wooden walkway in gardens?
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June 16, 2013
Leslie Dawson Int Design The Cupcake Garden added this to Home exteriors
June 9, 2013
Santa Cruz, CA
patoula added this to patoula's ideas
June 6, 2013
trelises..towers...used for ventilating warm air..
mr_manager added this to mr_manager's Ideas
June 6, 2013
Amazing second floor. Possibly have a more open window first? Also love the curved stairs. Thoughts with elevated walk way with vegetation, possible glass walkout onto vegetation in a few areas.
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June 6, 2013
great SB house!
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June 6, 2013
taipeipeter added this to taipeipeter's ideas
June 6, 2013
passive solar, cooling
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June 5, 2013
No AC...
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June 5, 2013
Window arbor
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June 5, 2013
windows insulation
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June 5, 2013
cooling ventilation
lindaraeclark added this to design principles
June 5, 2013
This house in Santa Cruz, California, exhibits a couple of strategies from the outside: shading of south- and west-facing windows through trellises and towers that are used for ventilating warm air. These linked elements work well with the larger design, which has an organic quality, as if the house has evolved piece by piece over time.
Shelle Wills added this to shelle_wills's ideas
June 5, 2013
Pergula type roof line
sarah added this to shed
June 5, 2013
owers that are used for ventilating warm air.
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June 5, 2013
marise11 added this to marise11's ideas
June 5, 2013
maison écologique énergie naturelle
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June 5, 2013
shading of south- and west-facing windows through trellises
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June 5, 2013
Window eaves
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June 5, 2013
like the pergola window shade
megconway added this to megconway's ideas
June 5, 2013
cool design shading of south and west facing windows thru trellises and towers used for ventilating warm air
adelegodino added this to Calli Dreamin
June 5, 2013
cool additions
christinejobes added this to christinejobes's ideas
June 5, 2013
Lara Turner added this to lara_turner's ideas
June 4, 2013
Air cooling and flowing passively in home
This house in Santa Cruz, California, exhibits a couple of strategies from the outside: shading of south- and west-facing windows through trellises and towers that are used for ventilating warm air. These linked elements work well with the larger design, which has an organic quality, as if the house has evolved piece by piece over time.
claire279 added this to claire279's ideas
May 27, 2013
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May 25, 2013
Beach house
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May 22, 2013
Color of the house
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May 19, 2013
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May 5, 2013
like the casual feel of this exterior
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April 29, 2013
Like the pergola effect upstairs
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April 21, 2013
Shade idea for window
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April 16, 2013
Am I brave enough to do this siding color?
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April 14, 2013
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Exterior colors
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March 13, 2013
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March 10, 2013
Nice wooden boardwalk, meets deck at an angle.
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March 1, 2013
I like the house design
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February 2, 2013
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January 18, 2013
pleasure point?
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January 14, 2013
arbor over windows
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January 4, 2013
pretty awesome
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December 17, 2012
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December 17, 2012
long curved stairway
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December 10, 2012
The colour of the house
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December 8, 2012
Bluffs 2
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December 2, 2012
For beach home....
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November 23, 2012
boardwalk brengt je binnen
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zoo idea
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Love deck sides
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November 6, 2012
Multiple materials
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beach nest
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October 13, 2012
for a water TANK ABOVE
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Crows nest
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landscaping ideas for back yard
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September 30, 2012
Love the color & architecture...clean lines
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Exterior paint
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September 23, 2012
Can't even begin to say how in love I am with this house!
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External stairs
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