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design: swim on

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Australians don’t swim in a pool when the ocean is a few steps away. Right? Well yesterday we did just that and it was great. The Pacific ocean which hits the west coast of America is bloody freezing. I applaud Wallis Annenberg and the Annenberg Foundation for funding the Community Beach House with its lovely 90-degree heated pool right on the beach at Santa Monica. Architecturally it’s interesting. Fredrick Fisher and Partners are responsible for the very contemporary design. Their low slung structure includes a facade striped with white columns – a nice visual reference to William Randolph Hearst’s mansion that stood on the site in the 40s. Hearst’s architect Julia Morgan (she did Hearst castle) worked with set designer William E. Flannery to create the ‘beach house’ – below. The whole thing was very impressive – although the food at the cafe is not great. Pack a lunch.

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