PROGRAM: Bum Bungalows

SITE: Queenstown Court, Mission Beach


Beach life is erratic but casual. Urban life is demanding and aggressive. QTCT is tasked to blend these two identities onto one site—a give and take relationship between beachy ambitions and urban necessities.

To bring together these two opposing forces, the search for started with deriving form, materiality and feeling directly from the vernacular of the site and learning from its logic and traditions.

Mission Beach is alive and active. It is the most popular beach destination in the city of San Diego and draws tremendous crowds during the summer months.

Walking from beach to bay takes less than five minutes. Residents and visitors alike have complete access across the sandbar to both beaches and therefore the residential neighborhoods become attractions themselves as one moves throughout the city.

It’s a true pedestrian lifestyle. Bike paths connect ocean to bay with the central road as the only interruption to the flow. Surf shops and restaurants line the interior and beach front.

SITE: QTCT consists of six lots: four to the North and two to the South. Each lot is 25’ x 50’; remaining consistent with adjacent business and residential lot sizes.

Alleyways for parking border each edge of the lots. A pedestrian bicycle path moves through the site linking it with the beaches.

QTCT is a sampling of both worlds: on one hand it is the embodiment of the found language of the beach and on the other it is a detailed and exacting built urban space. The units must fulfill the demands of an urban home, while promoting a lifestyle unique to that of a beach community.

MASSING 1: BUM HUT: Pulling inspiration directly from the shape of lifeguard towers, the Bum Hut is an independent unit that creates a community upon repetition. A study in possible materiality, interpretation of found forms and community spaces.

MASSING 2: MIXUP: Looking to add density to Mission Beach, Mixup combines multiple unit types into each unit block. These volumes protrude and wrap around each other merging their identities. The introduction of vertical cores defines their height and provides easy access to service functions.

MASSING 3: RIP SHACK: Looking for a reference, Rip Shack turns to the ocean for inspiration. Programmed volumes are wrapped in a wave of material, encompassing the structure. Principles of open facades and uniformly covered volumes are studied and developed.

Implementing the found essence of each previous scheme into a set of new units. A core kit of design elements and materials is adopted by the new structures. Hierarchies and relationships are accented among the units creating dynamic encounters and playful responses.

Refinement of the typologies and materials. Found patterns and textures make up the character of the buildings. Windows and openings develop a logic for size and placement. A third unit type is created to bring the scale down to the level of its surrounding context.

The resulting variety of units and interstitial spaces on the site add up to a unique and optimistic court of characters that add to the iconic urban texture of Mission Beach.

UNIT 1: MAVERICK: The leader of the group. Confident and proud, it announces the complex to Mission Beach with an active planted wall system. At the ground level, a front patio space is created by pulling back the first floor—allowing for a more generous flow to the pedestrian corridor/bike path moving through the site.

Inside, each space is generated around a concrete core possessing all of the plumbing and ventilation functions. Balcony space on every floor, a double height living room, rooftop master bedroom and a second floor office/bedroom make this the most dynamic unit of the group.

UNIT 2: GOOSE: The most charismatic unit of the complex. Designed as a two unit combined structure, Goose was planned to work best in collaboration with other units. On its Maverick side, Goose responds with its own operable patio space. In relation with the other Goose it mirrors itself providing a shared public ground space to hold communal activities.

Across the central path, Goose angles its facade to pull back from the path, allowing the opportunity to grow vegetation along the sites interior avenue. With interior space consisting of one bedroom, one and a half bath, a kitchen and a flexible work level, this is the perfect unit for a young professional.

UNIT 3: CHARLIE: The most reserved and subtle unit. Charlie helps anchor the complex with the context by lowering the scale back down to a two story structure.

Designed as the most family friendly unit, Charlie provides the essentials for beach life. A large shared courtyard is created between the Charlie units finalizing the North/South axis of the complex.