Michael Lee, AIA

Michael Lee Architects, Inc.

2200 Highland Avenue in Manhattan Beach | 310-545-5771 | info@MLeeArchitects.com | MLeeArchitects.com


Describe the featured project.

Scott Residence – The owners of this 5,000-square-foot, single-family residence in Santa Monica asked for a home that took advantage of their property’s large, south-facing rear yard and its distant ocean views. They also wanted a traditional-looking home with a bit of modern spirit to it. Our solution was to design an L-shaped floor plan that organized all of the home’s public spaces around a huge, sunny, pool deck, oriented toward Catalina Island. 

Large, sliding wood doors open the kitchen, dining and family rooms to a covered deck and outdoor fireplace area. Stacked stone, gray stained cedar shingles and white window trim combine in a timeless palette that evokes the Eastern seaboard. An overscaled fireplace, a blue front door and a playful porthole at the entry make the house whimsical and stately at the same time.



Describe the vernacular of your practice.

We are primarily a custom residential design firm. We specialize in private homes throughout the LA Basin and Southern California, with some of our newer projects in Temecula, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga and throughout the Hollywood Hills. Our belief in the basics of good design enables us to design successfully in a range of styles. 

We also do multi-family residential, small commercial and restaurant work, along with interior design and construction management. Design/build has been a very successful formula for us on numerous projects. 




What is it about this industry that captivates you?

Working in architecture is challenging, given the huge range of skills and responsibilities that an architect must take on. However, this is what makes being an architect so rewarding. An architect must solve problems in an aesthetic way, engineer projects cost-effectively, guide them through the byzantine municipal approval processes, and then coordinate the construction and finishes of those projects. Having an understanding of all aspects of the design process and a deep appreciation for good architecture and all of its various components gives us great satisfaction. 


What makes your firm unique in this industry?

We look at every project with fresh eyes and as a chance to design a unique and exciting building that will enhance the lives of its inhabitants. We carry this enthusiasm forward through the design and construction process, and we work diligently to ensure our projects exceed our clients’ expectations. 


What is the most valuable service you offer to clients?

Our belief in good design and our understanding of what it takes to create lasting quality architecture.