Dani Ridge House is a gorgeous contemporary vacation retreat carved into a hillside, designed by Carver + Schicketanz, located in Big Sur, California. The 1,900 square foot home looks upon the Pacific through floor-to-ceiling windows that nearly stretch the perimeter of the house, which uses daylighting and shading to control temperatures. Hoping not to obstruct their neighbors’ views, the clients asked the architects to add a native green roof, which from above looks essentially identical to the surrounding greenery. In fact, it blends so well into the landscape that if you drive by, you just might miss it.
In order to conceal this home from its uphill neighbors a shelf was cut into the narrow slice of grassland located between an access road on one side and the steep slopes of the West Coast on the other. The uphill land extends as a green roof over the underground portions of the home-terminating on the gently curved roof of the living room.
All utilities, including the 5,000 gallon water storage tank, were placed underground in order to preserve the surrounding landscape.
Purpose of the home for the client: To be used as a vacation home for a family with two young daughters. Three bedrooms, two bath rooms, modest living area, integrated/ open kitchen and take advantage of the great views.
Design concept of the project: To interrupt the native landscape to the least extent possible, to interlock the structure with the land as much as possible.
The design process: We decided to cut a wedge into the gentle hill side and tie the house to the hill and accommodate many functions (garage, laundry, powder room, pantry, mechanical room) underground. As a result the native meadow rolls onto the northern part of the house and ties the building to the landscape. Therefore the house is barely visible to the uphill neighbors.
What is inspiring about this place / setting to architect: The views, the landscape, the adventurous clients. What were the goals we sought to achieve? How did we achieve them? We wanted the home to blend with the land, and give the clients a perfect retreat. We accomplished this by cutting a wedge into the gentle hillside and using this space to accommodate multiple functions (garage, laundry, powder room, pantry, mechanical room) underground.
As a result the native meadow rolls onto the northern part of the house and ties the building to the landscape. Therefore the house is barely visible to the uphill neighbors. Process for the material and finish selections for the project: We were looking for durable and easy-to-maintain finishes which are soothing to the eye and compliment the native grass land.
Photos: Robert Canfield
The Cliff House is a conceptual design by Australian architectural firm Modscape of a five storey modular home that clings to the side of a sheer cliff face. The concept was born in response to a growing demand from Australians wanting to live life on the edge. The design is a theoretical response to clients who have approached Modscape to explore design options for extreme parcels of coastal land in Australia.
Inspired by the way barnacles cling to the hull of a ship, a concept was developed for a modular home to hang off the side of a cliff as opposed to sitting on top of it. The home is visualized as a natural extension of the cliff face rather than an addition to the landscape, creating an absolute connection with the ocean.
As the design itself would make conventional construction prohibitive, the concept utilizes Modscape’s modular design and prefabrication technologies to deliver a series of stacked modules that are anchored into the cliff face using engineered steel pins. Entry to the home is through a carport on the top floor, where a lift vertically connects the user through each of the descending living spaces.
Internally, the living spaces feature minimalistic furnishings to ensure that the transcendent views of the ocean and the unique spatial experience of the location remain the integral focal point of the design.
Photos: Courtesy of Modscape
Apartment 3 is an incredible urban luxury beach apartment which has been designed by interior architect Daniel Hasson, located in Tel Aviv, Israel. The residential project features a bright interior with clean lines, complemented by the deep blue of the ocean and sky, visible from the windows. The home uses three main colors, black, cream and mocha and the most luxurious materials. The apartment is furnished with top designers such as Iokraam home decor – Armani and Fendi Casa. This 2,690 square foot (250 square meters) apartment has only two bedrooms.It was divided into two suites and a spacious living room to create a feeling of space with the privacy occupants. The position of the apartment hovering over the sea was important,that sitting in the living room the homeowner will be facing the view. The wall shows that the sea is reflected in the black, but it is also practical, used as a multimedia wall.The apartment has advanced and smart technology.
Photos: Courtesy of Daniel Hasson
This colorful Captiva Island, Florida beach house has been designed by Stofft Cooney Architects in conjunction with interior design firm Anthony Baratta. A blend of post-modernism and tropical decor, the home includes a 6,700 square-foot main house, with a 2,400 square-foot two story guest house with two full living/bedroom suites and a gazebo that was constructed on the property. The home is a grand-scaled Florida beach home cottage, with the traditional cedar clapboard siding and large expanses of glass to reveal the panoramic views of the ocean. Outdoor pavilions have been built to sit outside and relax with shade from the sun. The home’s main color scheme is turquoise, white and chartreuse, with punches of other bold colors splashed throughout the home to add vibrancy and give the home character.
The property includes seven bedrooms, seven and a half baths, two family rooms, a study, a master suite with spa retreat, a media room, an expansive fitness room, a private elevator, a two-story guest house with two fully-equipped studio suites, a freestanding garage with two bays and room for lifts (in addition to the parking bays available to the main house), a gazebo for seaside meditation or contemplation of the koi pond, and a saltwater pool and spa surrounded by a multilevel, coquina-stone lanai. The use of Tischler und Sohn windows, doors and hardware throughout assures the use of the very finest materials and guarantees the ultimate in storm protection. A whole-estate generator serves all structures.
Relax on the multiple outdoor loggia and covered balconies serving both the main house and the guest house. Grand, sweeping views, as well as privacy, were both considered in the design of the estate.
The beach house is situated on over two acres, with over 200 feet of water frontage and soft sand beaches. The lushly landscaped grounds draw the residents and their guests to the natural beauty and serenity of island life. The soothing sounds of the waves from the Gulf of Mexico are heard from nearly every room.
In the family room, custom-made wicker sofas and club chairs are paired with custom-colored portieres.
The family room has a custom-made sofa and rug by firm Diamond Baratta Design.
The kitchen overlooks the gazebo, the koi pond, and the Gulf beyond to the south through immense picture windows; views of an inviting loggia with fireplace to the west connect you to the many moods of the sea. The kitchen island countertop consists of lavastone.
Circles and curves define custom-made pieces in the breakfast room. The table sits on a Pucci-inspired rug by Tai Ping. The steel chandelier has lacquered wooden balls.
Trellised walls and ceilings, designed by Diamond, Barratta and handcrafted by Connecticut artist, Paul Flammang, provide a magical backdrop for more formal evenings; views from this room to the formal, beautifully planted and luminously lit allow guests a vista of a different sort.
Vintage Italian Pagoda tulipières sit atop a custom trellis credenza in the dining room.
The home’s exuberant turquoise, white, sun yellow and chartreuse interior color scheme is set against a backdrop of classic white millwork, jewel and silver-toned lighting fixtures and reflective surfaces. Inspired by leading artists and craftsman like Ron Seff, Dorothy Draper, Murano, Scalamandre, Beauvaix, Stark and Charles Edwards, and executed by renowned designers William Diamond and Anthony Baratta, the home’s interiors and finishes allow lovers of light and nature to experience those things inside and out.
The entry hall’s palette is pared to white and turquoise. The runner and portieres are custom made.
For the master bedroom, designers William Diamond and Anthony Baratta used a lamp originally designed for the Eden Roc Hotel lobby in Miami. A niche wall and headboard in custom-colored velvet anchor the bed.
Seating in the master bedroom of a Florida beach house takes advantage of the Gulf view.
The magnificent mahogany and limestone staircase ascends through the core of the main house and is wrapped in Eric Beare murals that conjure up whimsical, tropical images of Gaugin’s South Sea islands.
The designers chose a bright turquoise for the entry to the home, evoking the color of the Gulf of Mexico.
Royal palms lead to a Florida beach house built by Stofft Cooney Architects. Inspired by the sea, the interiors boast invigorating colors and distinctive design.
Each house, with its standing-seam metal roofs, references Old Florida, while outdoor pavilions, loggias, siding details and architectural features executed in “high tech” materials mimic that style’s authentic appeal.
Photos: Jason Schmidt
Carmel Residence is an incredible modern home design completed in 2008 by Dirk Denison Architects, situated in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California. The house is nestled on a dense site facing Carmel Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The clients were keen to be fully cognizant of this amazing setting in all areas of the home. As such the house was conceived as a central room comprised of the courtyard, living room, and bedroom, bordered by niche spaces for the kitchen, breakfast nook, office and master bath. Fully folding doors/walls adjacent to the courtyard from the living room and bedroom literally open the full space up, and the rhythmic edge of vertical screen elements (solid mahogany and steel) create a loose border that stretches and compresses along its lengths.
Viewed at an angle, the screen reads opaque, but viewed closely or straight through, the screen is visibly porous allowing both light and air to travel through and across the central space. All other rooms on the main floor abut this border screen, creating a reference of place throughout the house, and providing a dynamic reading of visual connections as one moves through the space. This central heart of the house is protected from strong seawater winds of the ocean by a glass roof, designed to allow for clear views upward and to maintain a warm center space.
The steel columns that anchor the steel cable and strut trusses are integrated into the vertical wood screen – matching the changing rhythm and yet independently identified by a deep charcoal color. When a sweeping breeze is needed, the large sliding windows between the office and the courtyard are easily opened to allow full cross-ventilation. The house lives and breathes through the courtyard, and our clients live fully in this “large” room, even soaking in the Japanese Ofuro installed beneath the glass roof to watch the evening sky.
The second floor is accessed by an exterior cantilever stair, which is structurally and materially integrated into the vertical screen system. Atop the house is a small second floor enclosure between two porches with dramatic views. This space is primarily used as a meditation room – and the large scooped skylight draws attention towards the changing blue of the sky and movement of the stars. Hidden below the inset Tatami floor is a guest mattress, ready to be revealed for guests to sleep among the cypress treetops.
Photos: David Matheson
The Bronte House is a contemporary beach house perched high over the Pacific Ocean in Sydney, Australia, designed by Rolf Ockert Design. The client requested that the architect design a dream home that made them feel like being on a holiday every day, and while the view was fantastic, the site was very small and suffocated by overbearing neighboring dwellings. The finished house, though, feels generous and as if it is alone with the ocean and the sky.
Being tightly restricted by site conditions there were only two avenues we could take to create generosity of space and location: Firstly the surprising height of the living room space that takes advantage of the only extravagant spatial dimension available to us. And secondly the pursuit of sightlines to water and sky wherever possible. High side walls, for privacy but also to provide mass for a comfortable indoor climate, have continuous highlight windows for the enjoyment of 360° views of the sky. The large face concrete wall dominating the space has slim slot windows, allowing teasing glimpses of the ocean when entering the house while effectively cutting out the visual presence of the neighbor.
The house opens itself up completely to the East, the presentation of the stunning water views. This also allows the capture of the constant ocean breezes to cool down the house throughout the year, easily regulated by a plethora of ventilation options from sliding doors to operable louvers.
Sophisticated simplicity would be the most appropriate motto for the design of this house. Being on a very small block the client’s expectations of the generosity and design standard to be achieved required a very stringent approach. While the focus is naturally on the maximization of the enjoyment of the majestic ocean views it was the suburban context that drove most of the major design decisions: The slotted northern concrete wall, the solid southern facade, the high roof with its continuous strip of highlight windows and louvers.
The house has transformed the lives of the clients. Having stepped back from a high powered, high income lifestyle they now enjoy the beach life and pursuit of their new occupations, writer and therapist respectively. This lifestyle is partly funded by the renting out of the house to high caliber visitors. The architectural quality and enhancement of the ocean location through the design is essential for this to be possible.
A rich but reduced palette of strong, earthy materials, from the above mentioned concrete to Timber flooring and ceilings, rust metal finishes and thick, textured renders, contrasts with the fine detailing of the interior and anchors the residence against the airy, light aspect created by the opening to the views.
Photos: Sharrin Rees
This stunning cliffside property perched on a bluff overlooking an ocean surge channel has been designed by Icon Developments in British Columbia, Canada. The stunning custom built residence showcases relaxed west coast style comfort maximized in a modest ranch style home. Every room throughout the transitional home features breathtaking views.
Photos: Concept Photography
Altamira Residence overlooks the Pacific Ocean nestled on a 20-acre site along the coast of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, California, designed by architect Marmol Radziner. The project consists of a 15,500 square foot complex with a main residence, study, guesthouse, and garage. The design was inspired by the natural topography of the site and the client’s interest in geology. Responding to the untouched feel of the land and the geography in the area, the home’s floor levels cut into the terrain, making the structures appear to be emerging from the earth. The house captures a series of views that encourage the journey through the site.
This expansive home is designed to maximize the stunning panoramic views. Concrete walls reference the cool colors of the ocean setting. The stone veneer, made from local shale, is warmed by wood casework and built-in furniture. Intimate furniture groupings emphasize the scale of the home while responding to the clients’ need for comfortable, relaxed living space. This play of proportion supports the desire to provide unobstructed views of the surrounding vistas while emphasizing the enjoyment of modern amenities in a rugged setting.
Photos: Benny Chan and Marmol Radziner
The Tunquen Residence is a stunning private vacation home situated in Tunquen, Chile designed by Grupo 7 Architecture + Interiors. The architecture studio completed all aspects of the project, including the interiors, lighting design and construction administration. Nestled on a mountainside with views out towards the ocean, the home is surrounded by a rocky outcropping of desert vegetation and rugged landscape. The interiors is comprised of 2,000 square feet of living space with a minimalist design for easy upkeep for when the owner’s are out of town.
Founded by José Tohá and Jim Cronenberg in 2002. Grupo 7 is a full-service architecture and interior design studio. Our work strives for a fresh, modern approach that is attentive to spatial experience, materials, and lighting, while also tending to the realities of function, budget, and schedule. We have completed projects in the US and internationally, varying in scope from condominiums to residences to restaurants, lounges, and commercial interiors.
Photos: Courtesy of Grupo 7