KAA Design

Manhattan Beach, California

When the Los Angeles developer Bryn Stroyke of Stroyke Properties acquired a prime corner location in downtown Manhattan Beach, he planned to replace the site's existing restaurant with a mixed-use office building'but not a standard box with street-level retail. Instead, he and his investors wanted to build a boutique office complex to attract individual proprietors whose small size excluded them from the community's competitive market. The opportunity for an interior designer or a solo real estate broker, for instance, to acquire centrally located office space was unprecedented, says Grant Kirkpatrick of KAA Design, 'especially in Manhattan Beach, where downtown development is extremely limited and property rarely changes hands.' Stroyke saw a chance to serve a small market willing to pay for ocean views, understated loftlike spaces, and the work-play lifestyle the location affords. And because prices per square foot increase as the space an occupant buys or leases shrinks, Stroyke's concept allowed his company to maximize the property's earning potential.

Imagining 1300 Highland as an urban village, the architects distributed its 34 units among five small buildings linked by outdoor circulation. An exposed steel structure, bleached cedar cladding, and a glazed ground level suggest a series of modern beach houses. A 10,000-square-foot basement with a spa, locker rooms, and surfboard and bike storage allows owners and tenants to include trips to the beach into their routine. 'It's a much different setup than you'd traditionally find,' says Stroyke. 'You have a freedom you don't have in a more traditional office building.'

To open the units'ranging between 320 and 350 square feet'to daylight and breezes, the architects gave the buildings butterfly roofs with transoms. Each has a balcony or patio.

Though Stroyke Properties built the condos for sale, the company is leasing them to weather the economic downturn. The sold units have gone for upwards of $2,000 per square foot'a record, says Stroyke'and leased spaces rent for $6 to $9 per square foot. 'People will pay more because of the location and the facility than they ordinarily would,' says Kirkpatrick. 'Yet they still get a return on their investment, and the developers and investment partners get a tremendous return on their original investment by maximizing the property and leveraging a unique idea.'

KAA Design
4201 Redwood Avenue
Los Angeles, CA
T (310) 821-1400
F (310) 821-1440

Completion Date: July 2009

Total construction cost: $7 million

Gross square footage: 23,141 sq.ft.


Owner: KBS Real Estate Investment Trust, Newport Beach, California

KAA Design
4201 Redwood Avenue
Los Angeles, CA
T (310) 821-1400
F (310) 821-1440

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Grant Kirkpatrick, AIA – Principal In ChargeAlex Anamos, AIA – Project ManagerBrian Adolph – Project Coordinator

Civil – KPFF Consulting EngineersMEP – Integrated Engineering Consulting EngineersSoils – NorCal EngineeringStructural – Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger Engineering

Acoustic – AJS Acoustics
Lighting Design – Kaplan Gehring McCarroll Arch LightingTraffic – Linscott, Law & Greenspan EngineersWaterproofing – Construction Problems Resolution, Inc.

General contractor:
Nick Schaar, California Buildings Inc.

Farshid Assassi Image_01.jpg to Image_13.jpg
Manolo Langis Aerial / Diagram A / Diagram B

CAD system, project management, or other software used:

PowerCADD, SketchUp


Structural system
Reinforced concrete basement and first floor deck
Wood framed superstructure with steel moment frames

Exterior cladding
Custom aluminum fascia, reglets & downspouts
Stained tongue and groove vertical cedar siding
Stained Douglas fir rafters (actual structural framing exposed)
Cembonit cement board panel rainscreen assembly (3 color: white, grey & orange) (sustainable)
Perforated metal sheet screens, gates & catwalks
Exposed painted wide flange steel columns & beams
Fixed horizontal aluminum blade louvers & guardrails
Painted steel plate stair & guardrail
Custom fabricated tensile awning from Eide Industries
Concrete benches
Green screen fence at the rear)

Light colored thermoplastic “cool roof” from Mule-Hide (sustainable)

Aluminum storefront, some with mahogany inserts (very custom)
“Frameless” clerestory glazing in concealed metal channels
Operable clerestory windows at “back” side of upper units (above entry)

Glazed, aluminum storefront entry doors (white laminate at offices)
Custom Fleetwood aluminum single door sliders interlock with storefront frames

Interior finishes
Stained Douglas fir rafters & grade A/B plywood ceilingsDrywall at first floor interior, plaster at first floor exterior

Demountable partitions:
Designed the structure so that walls (or portions thereof) between units are removable

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork:
Custom white lacquer lavatory cabinets in unitCustom wood cubbies in the locker room
Chain link storage lockers in the basement

Paints and stains:
Orange detail on steel moment frame flanges

Wall coverings:
Painted drywall with reveal base

Special surfacing:
Exposed, polished lightweight concrete floor

Interior ambient lighting:

Axis Lighting, “Cubic”, (2) 32W T8 Linear Fluorescent 30005, 82CR1

Visa, “Visage”, 28W T5 Linear Fluorescent, 30005, 82CR1BK Lighting, Tru-Aim 37MR16/R/WFL60°

Thyssen KruppCustom aluminum bar stock roof access ladders