A Composition in Modern Living

Sandcastle Residence

Found at the end of a coastal hillside road, this small house is sheltered from view by the rugged topography near Montana de Oro State Park. Protected by the solid front wall that frames the entry elevation, the house sits lightly on a natural coastal terrace preserving the rock formations and chaparral around it.

2014 AIA Design Award
2014 GOLD NUGGET Design Award


The solid nature of the front wall begins to dissolve as you progress through the pool courtyard to the entry. Hints of the dramatic views that lay beyond are framed through the wood lattice screen.


The entry canopy traces the outline of the house to form a clerestory light shelf on the south elevation that softens the strong southern light and reinforces the long, horizontal expression of the house.


Essential and reductive, this house is a composition in modern living where light is the primary building material, playing upon the warm tones of the alder wood and the coolness of the carrera and sandblasted block walls.


The entry axis forms the main organizing element in plan, clearly dividing private spaces from public spaces. Intentionally open to the south and west, the public spaces stretch along the entire length of the plan.


Punctured by a thoughtfully placed sitting window, the sandblasted block feature wall anchors the great room, giving definition to the seating area.


The master bathroom is filled with light spilling in from the clerestory windows, the lattice screened aperture to the adjacent master bedroom, and most dramatically, by the floor to ceiling window of the shower.


Intimately private yet, equally open to the dramatic views beyond, the master bedroom suite is a serene sanctuary seemingly a world away from the public spaces of the house.


Enclosed by a glass wall in the void between the garage and private spaces, the office enjoys breathtaking views across the pool courtyard.


Illuminated like a lantern, the house takes on a new character as the sun sets over the pacific horizon beyond Montana de Oro.


In the evening, more so than any other time, the envelope of the home dissolves completely, connecting the inhabitants to the surrounding landscape beyond. Time is marked by the passage of the sun across the sky amd tomorrow the sun will rise again to fill the space with light.


Beyond the entry wall a shimmering pool becomes the focal point of the inner courtyard and defines the boundaries of the protected outdoor living space.

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