A Modern Home Joins a Storied Site on the Pacific Ocean

A new home at Sea Ranch, a half-century-old enclave of rugged modernist houses on the Northern California coast, captures the spirit of its surroundings.

Fifty years ago, a group of young architects began planning a cluster of contemporary houses on a rugged strip of coastline north of San Francisco. The goal was to turn a ten-mile expanse of bluffs and beaches into a community where modest, rustic second homes would blend in with the landscape. Among the founding architects was Charles Moore, a future dean of the Yale School of Architecture whose own condo featured a bedroom raised on corner posts over the living and dining rooms, partaking of their light and views. Another was Joseph Esherick, whose famous Hedgerow Houses use occasional steps, two or three at a time, to scale the gently sloping sites.

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