Sometimes architecture works best when it frames nature. These seven homes blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors by opening up towards the ocean.
The Porter cottage, on an island 20 miles off the coast of Maine, makes the most of its unwieldy site. The cottage was sited as close to the water as legally allowed in order to take advantage of the views, and far enough away from a graywater leach field where the soil is deep enough to allow for proper run off.
Architect Mary Ann Schicketanz created a 1,900-square-foot home in Big Sur, California, that hugs its hillside site. Here, two walls of floor-to-ceiling windows in the master bedroom frame expansive views of the Pacific Ocean.
The Casa Cuatro sits above a 180-foot cliff that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The locally quarried stone makes the house blend in with the landscape and acts as a thermal-mass wall, absorbing heat during the day and releasing it through the evening.
The residents of this Maui, Hawaii house cite Frank Lloyd Wright’s Mrs. Clinton Walker House in Carmel, California, as a loose inspiration for the design of their house. Here, a wooden deck off the living room boasts an uninterrupted view of the Pacific Ocean.
Although this San Franscisco home is oriented towards the interior, and far more interested in its tranquil inner courtyard than anything beyond, the transparent stripe in the frosted glass of the house offers a beautiful view of the ocean.