Sitting above the sand dunes overlooking the Pacific, White Sands takes its name from the beach sand at this site: its unique mineral composition lends it a pale grey color, rendering it a near-white when lit by the sun. This home occupies a narrow sliver of land that connects a quiet residential road to the beach and blue waters below; we began by turning the home’s attention toward the beach. To strengthen the relationship between the home and the sea, we studied the topography of the shore that lay between them, discovering individual dunes whose forms shift with the seasons, settled in the midst of a complex beach ecology that follows those same cyclical rhythms.
We designed the home to release toward the sea, shifting its ocean-facing edge to angle out, running parallel to the surf line. The edge of the home is merely suggested with wide spans of glass set into an exterior wrapping of weathered cedar. A rammed earth wall traces a path from the front door to the view, made of sand pulled from the project’s excavation, composed in layers of the light, dry sand and the deeper tones of sand saturated by water. The top of the wall is marked by ribbons of pale blue, carrying in the hues of the ocean. Elongated skylights sit atop the walls, the sun illuminating the texture of the rammed earth.