Inspiration by the Sea

Shell House

The Shell house is tucked along the shoreline of the Dana Point headlands. Evocative of sea-life, but without being representative, a series of nested, and interlocking shells form the volumes of the home to create vertical light slots, and clerestory windows that invite natural light deeply into the home.

2017 GOLD NUGGET Grand Honors Award

2017 GOLD NUGGET Merit Award


From the moment you enter the site a dramatic view to the ocean is thoughtfully framed by the telescoping shells which screen the adjacent neighborhood from view.


The entry canopy extends out from a vertical slot formed between the primary building shells, inviting the visitor deep into the home.

Shell House | Contemporary Home Design

Between these shells, a series of tall, vertical light slots, and horizontal clerestory windows invite natural light to penetrate deeply into the home.

Shell House | Contemporary Home Design

The rich, yet essential material palette of stone, wood, and glass is evocative of the ocean environment that inspired the home, and reflects the natural tones found in the shoreline geology and landscape of the site.

Shell House | Contemporary Home Design

A series of positive and negative spaces formed by the building shells allow the landscape inside, blurring the line between interior and exterior space.

Shell House | Contemporary Home Design
Shell House | Contemporary Home Design
  • "The judges were in awe of this outstanding design. A masterful floor plan provides an open contemporary living environment with no division of the indoor/outdoor relationships. Truly a beautiful composition, this amazing home inspired the judges and won the grand award."

    2017 Gold Nugget Jury Chair
Shell House | Contemporary Home Design
Shell House | Contemporary Home Design

A true product of this place and this time, the Shell House is uniquely adapted to its surroundings. It lives comfortably on the land, but remains inspired by the sea, open to the horizon, and embracing those who call it home.

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