tains the guest suite and a garage. Ranged around a gravel-filled courtyard,
they are all connected by an east-west boardwalk and surrounded by low
board-formed concrete fencing.
Viewed from the south, the wedge-shaped pavilions appear less fortified,
with gleaming walls of glass that face expansive skies and the ocean.
“At Sea Ranch, we have a well-defined architectural history going back
to the work of MLTW, Esherick and Halprin, inspired by a great vocab-
ulary of simple agricultural precedents in the county: simple shed roofs,
barn doors, and the use of wood are everywhere,” Burkhart says. “We
worked to integrate that vocabulary in a new building that is meshed
into the landscape.”
Thus Burkhart and Hudson’s sloped roofs echo the angle of the site,
and because the home is broken into separate pavilions, it can be inter-
spersed with drought-resistant landscaping; the meadow also emerges
Nature contributes in other ways too. In the two winters since they
finished the house, the cedar siding has developed a mottled patina; the
shiny copper roof and walls have mellowed to a reddish purple and will
eventually turn grayish green.
Inside, with project architect Bob Hartstock, the owners tried to maximize space. “The highest point of the roof could only be 16 feet above
grade, so we lowered the living room floor to match the sloping site; now
the room is 18. 5 feet high,” Burkhart says. And if the unfinished cedar-clad ceiling and walls above an 8-foot datum line look like inverted rafts
floating over white plasterboard walls, it is no coincidence. Burkhart’s
father, a naval physician, used to work on nuclear submarines that took
them to world ports. “We definitely used nautical cues in the design,”
The main house, built on a
poured concrete plinth, as
well as the guest wing, which
doubles as a den, all have large
glass walls facing the ocean.