As I pull into the driveway, I’m greeted by the charm of old-style cottage and contemporary modern blended together in this new world Laguna Beach Cottage. Covering the driveway and sidewalk areas are Florida native pebbles and small rocks that provide an aesthetically pleasing affordable alternative to concrete. “I’m a sucker for modern, utilitarian architecture and loved the charm of Laguna Beach,” said David Reich, owner and designer of the newest home in Laguna Beach on the west end of Panama City Beach.
The front door and accompanying windows, in addition to the back door and accompanying windows can all be covered by a sliding corrugated aluminum door. “The whole house is hurricane proof,” said Reich, “all the windows are impact resistant, and the front and back of the house with the most windows can be easily covered.”
The doors are of his design. He was trying to think of an easy solution to protect the windows in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm with out having to round the house bolting on planks or special and expensive shutters. They have rollers on the bottom and glide on sliders that secure the door on the top. On each side, there is a slide-bolt to keep it in place as the wind picks up.
That same corrugated aluminum paneling adorns various other parts of the exterior finish.
Reich’s family has deep roots in Laguna Beach. Having owned property in that area for years, his wife has ties to Laguna Beach from 1938. This modern cottage is built on a ‘half-lot’ sized 50×65.
For years he had wanted to build something on this lot, and finally, in July 2007, his dream had become a reality with the permits being approved.
He’d always wanted something modern, utilitarian, efficient and awesome looking. The end result is a modern cottage constructed of Transconsteel planks with bare concrete floor, exposed wood cabinets, high ceilings, and very tall walls.
“The whole house is an igloo,” said Reich. “Insuring was odd at first because the house is so resistant to everything the agent we were working with almost didn’t know how to handle it, our premium ended up being less than $750 a year.” The house is hurricane, mold and termite proof with the only wood being in the trim work.
The Transconsteel planks consist of a steel frame filled with polystyrene foam. The outside is covered in stucco and the inside is sheet-rocked. The whole house was dried in in a week with the help of 5 guys and is held together with over 26,000 stainless steel screws.
Riech’s goal, along with his wife’s was to create an ultra modern look, hanging track halogens and a ceiling fan from an exposed steel beam in the main living area accented by an exposed a/c and heating duct.
All the furnishings were purchased from IKEA. “I fit everything in this house in the back of my suburban and drove straight from Atlanta.”
The whole house, including everything down to the furnishings including the pool but not the land cost $170 per square foot to build. The energy bills are usually less than $100 and is perfect for beach-goers and loungers alike.
The wade pool in the back is lit and accompanied by modern landscaping, flat surfaces, an outside shower and a chain to guide roof run-off water into a hammered finish, rock-filled pot.
The whole house was built with efficiency in mind. The washer/dryer unit is located outside the heated and cooled space so as to iliminate heat disapation inside and keep inside cool.
for more background and pictures visit the Casa de Maraposa Blog.