Annenberg Community Beach House

Santa Monica, California

  • Services Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering
  • Market(s) Civic
  • Sustainability LEED Gold
  • Awards Historic Preservation Award, Southern California Association of Landscape Architects, 2012
    Best New Venue, BizBash LA Style Award, 2010
    Preservation Design Award, California Preservation Foundation, 2010
    Preservation Award, Los Angeles Conservancy, 2010
    Planning Excellence Award - Landmark Category, American Planning Association LA Chapter, 2010


square feet


construction cost


year original structures designed
  • Owner City of Santa Monica
  • Architect Frederick Fisher & Partners
  • Contractor Pankow Builders
  • Collaborators Historic Resources Group
  • Team Los Angeles, CA
Annenberg Community Beach House Annenberg Community Beach House

The oceanside estate that was eventually transformed into the Annenberg Community Beach House has a rich Santa Monica history. In the 1920’s, William Randolph Hearst built the property for actress Marion Davies, which later became a luxury hotel and the member-only Sand & Sea club. The mansion was demolished, and the property sold to the State of California in 1959. After suffering severe damage in the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the City of Santa Monica and its residence collaborated to transform the estate into a public-private partnership with historic preservation as a priority. With funding from the Annenberg Foundation, the project team rehabilitated the site’s two remaining original features, the Marion Davies Guest House and the swimming pool. KPFF provided structural and civil engineering services integrating the architects design of new construction that honors and reinterprets the long-lost mansion.

Civil engineering services included capturing rainwater that falls on the site and treating with natural, sustainable storm water solutions , and designing light-colored asphalt paving materials using high solar reflectance values that minimize the amount of heat absorbed with traditional dark colored pavement.

The off-site services included obtaining approval from Caltrans District 7 for an Encroachment Permit  for utility service connections and for temporary excavation within State public right-of-way along Pacific Coast Highway.

Additional Awards include:

  • 2009 BEST Project of the Year – American Public Works Association CPRS
  • Los Angeles Times 2009 Best Moments in Architecture
  • 2009 Facility Design Achievement Award – California Park & Recreation Society
  • 2009 Design Award – Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute
  • 40th Annual Architectural Awards, Civic category – LA Business Council
  • Interactive Design Award, Merit – HOW Design
  • Best Project, Rehabilitation/Renovation/Restoration – Design-Build Institute of America Western Pacific


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