‘Skyfall’ has a unique setting at the Sea Ranch in that this cul-de -sac property is bordered by golf links on two sides. In contrast, a dense stand of Cypress trees anchors the southern edge of the parcel. To the west, broad views sweep across the fairways to the Pacific and bluff houses, and north to the stands of trees along the Gualala River.
Our design response utilizes simple barn-like forms to create a private courtyard nestled against the cypress stand, protected from the wind and screened from the golf course. The gateway into the compound aligns with a framed view across the fairway to the Pacific Ocean beyond. As the central focus of the house, the courtyard functions as an outdoor living room, anchored by a hot tub along the east fence and a fire pit to the west.
The study, living, kitchen, and dining functions are grouped under an open gable roof, with windows that wrap the length of the space, paralleling the sweep of the fairway. A window seat enclosure punctuates the fenestration, creating an intimate space within the larger room, with its own focused view. A guest room tower marks the northern boundary of the courtyard and includes rooftop solar collectors concealed by a parapet. For greater privacy and flexibility, the master bedroom suite is housed in a separate gable-roofed building at the southern edge of the courtyard, with quiet views into the dense tree canopy.
SkyFall has been an incredible adventure for its owners, two San Francisco physicians with transcontinental backgrounds and with an ideal of modern northern California living perfectly realized by the Sea Ranch paradigm.
On a lark, they got on a real estate mailing list, and by chance the lot fell into their laps. Being history buffs, they had studied the origins of the Sea Ranch vernacular, and knew that they wanted to engage our architecture firm to help realize their goal: to build a house that was modest and utilitarian in size, respecting the Sea Ranch aesthetic of honoring the topography and its rustic origins, yet using an updated layout of an open interior and materials such as Equitone paneling and open-vista window panes as a glimpse into the future.
Now that they have moved in, the couple have confirmed what each had suspected – that Sea Ranch is magical in its ability to rejuvenate and replenish. They can go for morning swims and run along the myriad trails, completing the perfect Northern California lives that they envisioned.