The elbow of sand that pushes against the marina channel, straightening as it extends south to present a lunar landscape for the departing jets, is the land that L.A. forgot. The seclusion is so complete, the dunes of Playa del Rey looming like a wall, that foreign volleyball teams train here in secret. Kimberly Britts watches them from her windows, folding back the first-floor glass doors, the view as uncluttered as her interiors.
Britts was pregnant with her and husband Doug Hansen’s first child when they bought the building in 1994. They rented out the first floor and lived on the upper two; by the time Hans was five and brother Ian was on the way, the couple was converting the structure from part-time rental to single-family home. The most dramatic transformation took place beachside, where a steel skeleton tilted to resemble the prow of a ship frames the wide windows. The design is apt: Throughout the day marina-bound sailboats flutter past.
Amilcar Hosterhaill/Noteware Architects