Where the land meets the sea

This home finds the perfect balance between high design and a casual Californian aesthetic – creating magic on an already magical site

Designed by Feldman Architecture,

From the architects:

A hidden jewel in Santa Cruz, this home brings a polished bohemian feel right up to the edge of one of the state’s best surf breaks.

Our owners approached Feldman Architecture to design a family home in an unassuming neighbourhood – aware of the feel and scale of the surrounding structures.

The homeowners were well-versed on the nuances of the site and dreamt of a home that would fit naturally and sustainably into its beachy, eclectic locale.

Subject to a 100-year geologic setback requirement, a site-sensitive solution that respected both the coast and the community became a design focus.

The home is positioned as a wind break – the rear yard and deck capitalise on ocean views, while the entry and front courtyard, tucked behind two separate structures (a customized surfboard storage unit and garage) sit where the sun shines most in the winter.

Thus the house acts as a warm, light-filled cloister all year round, protected from the coastal winds.

Feldman Architecture then enlisted the help of Evan Shivley of Arborica, a sawyer who reclaims and repurposes Native Californian timber, to provide the project with locally sourced interior and exterior cladding.

Monterey Cypress, a robust, resilient, regal wood, is accustomed to the site’s coastal California climate and when left unfinished weathers to a sophisticated grey.

As such, the wood therefore quickly becoming a focal point of the home’s design.

The exterior is clad with board and batten slats, setting up an exterior and interior palette present throughout the home.

Waste in the milling process and trunk use was minimised by holistically integrating every level of wood grade and their respective qualities into the design.

The home’s public spaces capitalise on indoor/outdoor connection, seamlessly transitioning from the intimate front courtyard to the warm and open great room and kitchen, and finally opening up onto the back patio overlooking the sea.

Large sweeping doors open to connect the living space to the spacious back deck, which is fitted with an in-ground hot tub and outdoor kitchen perfect for entertaining visiting family and friends.

Upstairs, as the home transitions from public to private, the Monterey Cypress wood dissolves into plaster, diversifying the palette and drawing attention to carefully designed architectural details.

Thoughtfully placed windows weave surprising glimpses of blues and greens into the earth-toned interior finishes.

The master bedroom features floor to ceiling glass walls facing the waves and also opens onto a private balcony with views of surfers below. 

With interiors by Commune Design and landscape by Ground Studio, this home finds the perfect balance between high design and a casual Californian aesthetic – creating magic on an already magical site.

Credit list

Interior design
Commune Design
Landscape architect
Ground Studio Landscape Architecture
RJL Construction
Art consultant
Allison Harding

Designed by: Feldman Architecture

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Joe Fletcher

21 Nov, 2021

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