Trestles is a famous surf break and beach in Southern California that been threatened by development in recent years. Luckily, the beach has been saved, but it’s still difficult to access — the trail crosses active train tracks and has caused some damage to the local ecosystem. Seeking to provide a solution, Brooklyn-based 24° Studio designed Cut Back Hills, a sweeping wood walking path composed of FSC-certified wood. The beautiful structure is one of several entries in a competition hosted by the Open Architecture Network to design a safe and ecologically-conscious beach access solution for surfers and beach goers.

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Inspired by driftwood found along the shores as well as surfing and surfing moves like the ‘cutback’, ‘floater’ and ‘snap’, the project is a flowing walkway with barrel-like bridges that circulates through and around the wetland area. Designed to make the access to the beach a more enjoyable experience, the walkway is wide enough for even bike riding and has a low enough angle for wheelchair accessibility. The entire project would be constructed from FSC-certified hardwood and timbers for its supporting structures.

Currently, access to Trestles Beach is only provided via foot from the Old Pacific Highway 101 parallel to the I-5 in between San Diego and LA. As it stands, surfers generally walk from the highway across a somewhat fragile ecosystem, cross the train tracks (dangerous!) and around the hills to the beach. 24° Studio proposes a wood walkway and bridge that winds through the hills, over the train tracks and down to the beach. A number of observation decks, additional parking, bathrooms and bike racks are also included.

+ 24° Studio

+ Open Architecture Network Safe Trestles Competition