Noel Cross+Architects
Architects & 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 4 questions

macddy1 wrote:
Is this home a sealed home with conditioned attic space? Love the loo
   Comment   June 1, 2014
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Noel Cross+Architects
no, but most of our projects are these days. We started this project in 2006.
June 1, 2014 at 5:59pm   
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macddy1 wrote:
How does the tower area ventilate the hot air that has risen into it?
   Comment   June 1, 2014
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Noel Cross+Architects
Many of the upper windows are operable.
June 1, 2014 at 2:04pm   
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Shannon Richard wrote:
what type of wood did you use on the pathway? looks great!
     Comment   July 7, 2012
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Renaissance Kitchen and Home
I don't know for sure but it could be Brazilian Walnut (IPE') or Mahogany. Both are good exterior choices.

Torry Manzo
Renaissance Kitchen and Home
July 8, 2012 at 4:58am   
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Noel Cross+Architects
July 9, 2012 at 8:46am   
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Rebekkah Ziel wrote:
What is the exterior color? - What is the exterior color? Thank you!
   Comment   April 18, 2012
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Noel Cross+Architects
All there colors were custom color mixes, so we can't reveal them.
April 18, 2012 at 1:58pm   
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What Houzz contributors are saying:

Cross paid tribute to the local vernacular by staying in line with the scale and simple materials of the beach cottages and bungalows surrounding this home. Board and batten, cedar shiplap, and clapboard on the exterior help contribute to this modern beachfront look. Landscape architect Christopher Yates used a combination of low-maintenance coastal plants for the front yard. One challenge was containing the horsetail grass, which can become a problem if not held back. In the end, Yates and his team encased the entire planting area in a concrete basin.
Vanessa Brunner added this to Designer Sketch: Noel Cross
What inspires your designs?Many things. My love of architecture, all styles, modern being my favorite currently. The environment, the specific site and the surrounding region are huge inspirations. Probably most of all are my clients. My only nonnegotiable is that they must love their home, so I take a lot of inspiration from what they are dreaming of, what would make them the most happy and proud. I try to capture their souls and create a shelter for their psyche, if that makes sense. The bottom line is that buildings are for people, so they for me are the most important inspiration. The site is a very close second; in some cases it's a tie.Where's your go-to place for inspiration?Outside. Nature.Where in the world do you want to go next? Why?Spain. Man, I am just dying to see Barcelona and the work of Antonio Gaudi, and then drive over to Bilbao and experience Gehry's Guggenheim Museum firsthand. For me there are so many similarities in the work of these two great architects. Both are true artists deep down, and without art in architecture, you just have bricks and mortar with no soul. Why do it?Do you still draw, or is everything on the computer now?I still hand-draw every project, especially in the design phase. I leave the CAD to my wonderful staff, who are much better at it than I am. We eventually complete the design in 3D on the computer, which is an awesome and powerful tool, but most everything is still designed with a pen in my hand.More Designer Sketches:Jean Dufresne | Josh McCullar

What Houzzers are commenting on:

Jason Hector added this to B&B
20 hours ago
Lake B&B
mlcarlson added this to mlcarlson's ideas
last Friday
kaicmurphy added this to kaicmurphy's Ideas
last Thursday
Great use of up
dj2105 added this to Brown
last Thursday
house color
cmjackman added this to cmjackman's ideas
last Thursday
beachhouse details
dale0110 added this to boat house
July 12, 2014
Gray board button with white trim
rosaliebianco added this to beach house
July 9, 2014
glass room
tminni added this to Beach House
July 6, 2014
stairs to deck and boardwalk
jordie123 added this to jordie123's Ideas
July 2, 2014
Exterior modern
efeatherston added this to Sunset Project
June 29, 2014
Exterior railing
dina3894 added this to Exterior Ideas
June 28, 2014
Ric says for SunRoom
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June 23, 2014
Patsy Reis_power added this to patio and garden idea
June 23, 2014
ohhhhh angled walk
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June 23, 2014
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June 22, 2014
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June 22, 2014
Siding for cottage
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June 17, 2014
roof deck
Kim Boston added this to Kim Boston's Ideas
June 16, 2014
crock386 added this to crock386's Ideas
June 16, 2014
Cool elevation
jbamber87 added this to jbamber87's ideas
June 16, 2014
Badass cottage
qfortune added this to qfortune's Ideas
June 15, 2014
Use of a 450 sq ft lot and it's simple yet great use of windows for natural lighting...
Stefanie added this to stefdl's Ideas
June 9, 2014
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June 8, 2014
boraborabri added this to exterior
June 7, 2014
Paint colors
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June 7, 2014
cokerjen added this to garden and exterior
June 7, 2014
window trim
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June 6, 2014
C Paige Design added this to Beach Cottage
June 5, 2014
board and bat siding & deck
cas4711 added this to cas4711's ideas
June 4, 2014
beach cottage
pmanley08 added this to 249 lakeland ideas
June 3, 2014
curved front staircase
kevi1225 added this to kevi1225's Ideas
June 2, 2014
Love every aspect of this!
Massey Design Group added this to Gee Exterior
May 30, 2014
charlienancychris added this to charlienancychris's ideas
May 28, 2014
Energy efficient siding ?
a1wilheit added this to Exterior
May 28, 2014
andydyer added this to andydyer's ideas
May 28, 2014
Beach cottage
Katy Game-on added this to Tremont ideas
May 26, 2014
Wood walkway
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Hendricks Construction Co., Inc. added this to exterior house style
May 26, 2014
Different materials
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May 24, 2014
rosesteve added this to Just Fun Ideas
May 21, 2014
Thomas Wilson added this to thomas_wilson's Ideas
May 19, 2014
Exterior color
Heather MacNeil added this to Roof deck
May 18, 2014
Could be similar look to ours
bebermanbeach added this to bebermanbeach's ideas
May 18, 2014
Simple beach house. Den view? Corner lot
ace1179 added this to ace1179's Ideas
May 18, 2014
room under deck
jones enterprise inc added this to jonzy2014's Ideas
May 13, 2014
kiervh added this to kiervh's Ideas
May 12, 2014
very cool house
wmbryantchase08 added this to wmbryantchase08's Ideas
May 12, 2014
Lake side cabin exterior
rskeldon added this to traci
May 10, 2014
Cat mountain house
kobi1021 added this to My Houzz
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eblcman added this to Gorgeous Homes
May 8, 2014
I like the bold departure from the standard.
taydel added this to Lake shed
May 7, 2014
stairs curve - whynot?
Kia Dowell added this to Kia Dowell's Ideas
May 5, 2014
Container home idea
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May 4, 2014
brilliance219 added this to homes.
May 2, 2014
a little more space and it would be heaven!
marley333 added this to Outside paint
May 1, 2014
gray and white with brown lanai
msimester2003 added this to msimester2003's Ideas
April 30, 2014
Can I come in?
britlo added this to britlo's ideas
April 28, 2014
blue grey color
nma420 added this to nma420's ideas
April 26, 2014
love rails, siding
savbrook added this to savbrook's Ideas
April 22, 2014
Cool deck
zulu72 added this to zulu72's Ideas
April 20, 2014
Elevated deck for more dun
rejyeo added this to Exterior
April 17, 2014
Wooden path
lxander724 added this to lxander724's ideas
April 13, 2014
Emily Callman added this to emily_callman's Ideas
April 13, 2014
Exterior colors
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April 10, 2014
exterior paint
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April 9, 2014
Addition with 2 floor open deck
lickety added this to add on
April 8, 2014
like for add on
Susie Labbe' added this to webuser_52837's Ideas
April 7, 2014
2nd story room with a deck
Rd Shaw added this to rd_shaw's ideas
April 6, 2014
Gr8 home design
purple59 added this to purple59's ideas
April 2, 2014
love little houses
dvmin04 added this to dvmin04's Ideas
March 31, 2014
roof top deck?
tideaway added this to tideaway's ideas
March 31, 2014
Love this look
anthonymc added this to Torquay display
March 30, 2014
Torquay display
Baya Home added this to window casings
March 29, 2014
check at tresses over windows
Jessica Dillon-Mallory added this to webuser_90764's Ideas
March 28, 2014
aylim1990 added this to house exterior
March 27, 2014
Upstairs lots of glass
ssbarnes added this to ssbarnes's ideas
March 25, 2014
Exterior color
mlessner added this to Beach House Exterior
March 24, 2014
pergola type structure over windows
davey206 added this to davey206's ideas
March 24, 2014
cool house
briandawyd added this to briandawyd's Ideas
March 23, 2014
Interesting walkway
michelle_kirkwood added this to michelle_kirkwood's Ideas
March 23, 2014
gorgeous second story
janihart added this to janihart's Ideas
March 23, 2014
Narrow lot
mcollier57 added this to Exterior Ideas
March 23, 2014
reminds me of Capetown, with side entry
bonnzil added this to exterior paint
March 22, 2014
exterior paint
dede14 added this to dede14's Favorites
March 22, 2014
jenleh1 added this to jenleh1's ideas
March 22, 2014
Walkway and railing for beach house
kgravelle added this to kgravelle's ideas
March 22, 2014
Amazing. Ready to move in.
nessmul added this to nessmul's ideas
March 21, 2014
Wow love it
zondeparis added this to house styles
March 19, 2014
sauceda added this to sauceda's ideas
March 15, 2014
Shelley B added this to Exterior Ideas
March 13, 2014
Like the colors and style
Louise Cooper added this to Beach house windows
March 12, 2014
Great windows, great siding, great colors, love this house
Cam Freeden added this to cam_freeden's Ideas
March 12, 2014
hawkrick added this to Townline Rd Cottage
March 11, 2014
Very cool use of second story outdoor space
cbilello added this to bungalow walk
March 9, 2014
Possible extension to upside down house
maumontero added this to maumontero's Ideas
March 9, 2014
clairepierce added this to Future House
March 8, 2014
beach getaway home
jlbay22 added this to lanscaping
March 8, 2014
susangkerr added this to Beach upstairs unit
March 6, 2014
Future roof deck
catjackabby added this to pool house/garage obx
March 6, 2014
love deck over screened porch
Jo added this to Exterior
March 5, 2014
Christy Stoddard added this to Exterior Ideas
March 4, 2014
myrnaorensten added this to beach house
March 4, 2014
katydavid14 added this to exterior of house
March 3, 2014
Paint color
amilikesu added this to amilikesu's Ideas
March 2, 2014
Siding and color
amadeea added this to amadeea's Ideas
February 28, 2014
"shelter for your soul" funny, modern style # other projects
dunnju added this to dunnju's ideas
February 28, 2014
Great use of space
shannonnelson added this to Carthew
February 27, 2014
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February 27, 2014
rjcintron45 added this to pathways
February 26, 2014
wooden path
sandpointmom added this to Beach House Ideas (future)
February 26, 2014
second floor
pegucha added this to Asharoken
February 23, 2014
Color combination
caabbott added this to exterior siding
February 19, 2014
Love design and layout/use of space
Mikey Millon added this to mikey_millon's ideas
February 16, 2014
lohome added this to lorioneal's ideas
February 15, 2014
exterior colors with cedar
nalikim263 added this to nalikim263's Ideas
February 15, 2014
Beach home
era_yanti added this to era_yanti's Ideas
February 14, 2014
Beach house
thefairyartist added this to thefairyartist's Ideas
February 13, 2014
After the hurricane 2 story
jwhitezell added this to Exterior Ideas
February 13, 2014
Sally Andrus added this to sally_andrus's Ideas
February 9, 2014
nuclearbunnie added this to exterior
February 9, 2014
windows, upper
jaguiar11 added this to additions
February 8, 2014
Upper addition is primarily windows
jackyjay added this to jackyjay's Ideas
February 8, 2014
actionmom added this to HHI Remodel
February 8, 2014
color of outside & trim
omamax added this to omamax's Ideas
February 7, 2014
Cool deck - like a pier
quando12 added this to Downieville Exterior
February 6, 2014
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February 5, 2014
rizanx01 added this to front door
February 4, 2014
Jody Krisko added this to JK-The EXTRAS
February 2, 2014
dustinhutter added this to dustinhutter's Ideas
February 2, 2014
Don't like railing posts mounted on outside
ajc357 added this to back yard
January 31, 2014
deck path
shopgirl3 added this to travel
January 29, 2014
beach rental
carisas added this to carisas's Ideas
January 28, 2014
lacalosa added this to beachnhouse
January 28, 2014
rlink1 added this to beach house ideas
January 26, 2014
roof detail
madson9125 added this to Beach House Windows
January 24, 2014
cool idea to add dimension to house
pdxdon added this to Beach cabin
January 22, 2014
Board & batten siding, mix with 2nd story
gwmiles added this to exterior
January 19, 2014
seallen added this to landscaping
January 15, 2014
bundy54 added this to Railing Cable system
January 14, 2014
Mounted on the side of the wall
lfragola added this to outside look
January 14, 2014
cool looking
Angela Davison added this to angela_davison's Ideas
January 12, 2014
Stairs for outside
teterdank added this to Chris remodel thoughts
January 12, 2014
Craftsmanny and beachy at the same time
LaCour Construction added this to South And Easy
January 11, 2014
Love it
brennamcl added this to Exterior
January 8, 2014
Great elements inside & out
sassymlc added this to Exterior Ideas
January 7, 2014
grey boards, white windows / trim
amyskao added this to Exterior Ideas
January 5, 2014
Interesting house, potential to build on, doesn't have to be symmetrical. Feels like a beach tree house. Great inspiration for future desk from master bedroom.
kwkeesling added this to Molly Beach house
January 5, 2014
scaz81 added this to exterior ideas
January 4, 2014
Colour scheme
jasonorchard1 added this to jasonorchard1's Ideas
January 3, 2014
Sun screens
Jason Jagath added this to jason_jagath's ideas
January 3, 2014
looking good plan for my land
sarahrobertson08 added this to addition
December 29, 2013
siding color
jwhitezell added this to Bedroom Ideas
December 29, 2013
mjkunde added this to mjkunde's Ideas
December 26, 2013
Walls work with windows
heather328 added this to heather328's ideas
December 23, 2013
lake house
stylevixion added this to Exterior Ideas
December 22, 2013
lulu8482 added this to lulu8482's ideas
December 13, 2013
nguyentruong added this to nguyentruong's Ideas
December 10, 2013
love this desgin
Juliana Marquis added this to juliana_marquis's Ideas
December 7, 2013
Windows and shape
Jake Yoo added this to jake_yoo's Ideas
December 1, 2013
Nice, I like the vertical slat boards
palazzo added this to 6 tocci
November 26, 2013
love the tower
mclouie added this to Exterior Ideas
November 25, 2013
Possible master bed addition could look like this
lindsyjunger added this to Exterior Ideas
November 17, 2013
kcraw40 added this to kcraw40's Ideas
November 16, 2013
Love this vaca home
mabbsy added this to mabbsy's ideas
November 14, 2013
garden work way
Betsy Phillips added this to Compo mill cove
November 12, 2013
Decks-- tall/small footprint Colors!!!
Ryan Petrilla added this to Backyard
November 10, 2013
awesome railings and walkways
Susan Melnyk added this to front yard
November 10, 2013
wood walkway to extend sidewalk?
jgbradley123 added this to jgbradley123's ideas
November 7, 2013
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November 2, 2013
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October 31, 2013
susierae added this to decks
October 29, 2013
Love this look
debra32541 added this to Kokomo house
October 21, 2013
Landscaping and small pool
L. G. Boyce interior Design added this to laurenboyce's ideas
October 21, 2013
Beach house
phyllisb2 added this to exterior beach house colors
October 20, 2013
Pleasure Point House
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October 20, 2013
T. Rogers Designs added this to trogersdesigns's ideas
October 19, 2013
High trellis'
dschultz79 added this to Parks Landscaping
October 16, 2013
The elevation, plants are lower
coco40 added this to coco40's ideas
October 16, 2013
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October 16, 2013
Susan Ciufo Landscape Design added this to Beach house
October 14, 2013
I like the color scheme
sundancecat added this to sundancecat's ideas
October 4, 2013
suddenly I really want a deck over my sunroom.
ademaio added this to ademaio's ideas
October 3, 2013
davepearson added this to COTTAGE BUILD
October 2, 2013
character rooftop
samtroberts added this to samtroberts's ideas
September 25, 2013
Windows on rooftop room
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September 24, 2013
Debra Cox added this to Hubbard Residence
September 23, 2013
Board and batton
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September 19, 2013
Board and batt
meli05 added this to meli05's Ideas
September 17, 2013
Roof front deck
norawalker added this to Landscape Ideas
September 14, 2013
bridge path
arucci added this to container homes
September 14, 2013
like the color - very seaside looking. thick white around windows with blue steal gray.
camislade added this to patio
September 13, 2013
path to patio
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September 10, 2013
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