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A house that keeps watch over Hermosa Beach

A designer's childhood memories of lifeguard towers on the Jersey shore are evident in a new custom home.

February 21, 2010|By Scott Marshutz
  • Inspired by East Coast lifeguard towers, this home at 3002 Hermosa Ave., inHermosa Beach, has 3,600 square feet of living space.
Inspired by East Coast lifeguard towers, this home at 3002 Hermosa Ave.,… (Laura Hull )

A custom home in the shape of an East Coast lifeguard tower with nautical features is on the market in Hermosa Beach. It's the latest offering from Lazar Design/Build in partnership with developer Kirk Enterprises.

Steve Lazar, who grew up in Pennsylvania and visited the Jersey shore as a child, said the images of lifeguard towers stuck with him. "There's nothing authentic about this tower," Lazar said. "It's strictly from my imagination."

Glass light wells, connected by heavy-gauge stainless-steel spider arm supports, separate the tower's four angled legs from the front half of the home, which resembles the bow of a double-deck ship.

Because of the home's proximity to the ocean, Lazar specified materials that could withstand the elements with low maintenance. All the exposed wood is Mangaris, a highly durable product that turns a silvery gray. The steel was allowed to rust to the desired color and then sealed.

An elevator and two sets of stairs lead up to the fourth-floor tower. The room has the feel of a wheelhouse in the aft of a boat with canted windows to minimize glare. The small space is divided into a sitting and sleeping area, like a ship's berth.

A door leads out to a 1,300-square-foot entertainment deck, which is covered with 90-ounce synthetic grass. The lightweight recycled material is a cost-effective alternative to stone or tile. More important, Lazar said, it creates a little bit of a yard where there is none. In the center, a raised deck enhances the panoramic views.

One level below, wide-plank distressed pine flooring leads into the kitchen, which has a granite-topped island. A light fixture over the raised bar mixes antique and contemporary styling. The cooking area includes a commercial-sized cooktop and oven.

On the bedroom level, Lazar sandwiched a shared washroom with a shower-tub and linen storage between two powder rooms. "When you're hosting a party, guests prefer using a powder room instead of a bathroom," he said of the configuration.

Three walls of the master suite have clerestories with obscured glass. A plastered wall where a flat-screen television is mounted separates the bedroom from the bathing and shower area. That area is open with a step-up tub and exposed plumbing. Side-by-side rainfall shower heads create his and her showers.

The basement includes a laundry room, mechanical room and an area for a wine cellar.

To submit a candidate for Home of the Week, send high-resolution color photos with caption and credit information on a CD and a detailed description of the house to Lauren Beale, Business, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., CA 90012. Questions may be sent to

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