Landscape Architect: Lutsko Associates
Contractor: Phil Simon, Simon Construction.
Text description provided by the architects. A well-read, well-traveled couple commissioned this house as a counterpoint to their small apartment in a San Francisco high rise. Their house was to hold their books and collection of artifacts from around the world. The program called for “his and hers” offices at opposite ends of the house, encouraging focus but allowing for interaction around the central kitchen. They wanted a place to read and write in the reflective and inspiring coastal setting.
Sited on a highly exposed ocean meadow lot, the challenge was to provide privacy and sheltered outdoor space while maximizing the sense of openness and capturing the southerly views. The sheltered courtyard separates the main living spaces from the two-story volume of more private uses. The massing of the two simple sheds creates a focal point while blocking the coastal wind and views from the house of the immediate neighbor. A connector joins the volumes with small portal windows at the driveway in contrast to the all glass exposure at the garden and blocks the coastal winds while allowing one to enjoy private ocean views.
The plan is open and informal with the kitchen, dining room, and living room in one space. The interiors are warm and calm with generous windows framing views of the ocean and the forested ridge. Indoor and outdoor connections are emphasized by the continuous use of stone from the front walkway through the house and out to the central courtyard. All the fir used throughout was locally harvested. Being in the main living space is to be “in the meadow” to observe the birds and native plants close at hand.