Ludwig Lin, an anesthesiologist and critical care specialist, and Kieron Leslie, a British-trained dermatologist and Professor at UCSF School of Medicine, had long visited Sea Ranch for their weekend getaways. The community drew the couple to its natural beauty—it’s set on 10 miles of Northern California coastline—and Ludwig is a long-distance runner and Kieron is a swimmer, so the area’s numerous trails and three lap pools suited how they like to unwind.
After years of visits, the couple found a buildable, triangular lot bounded by golf courses on two sides and anchored by a copse of Cypress trees at the southern edge, with views to both the Pacific Ocean and the Gualala River. From the start of the project, Ludwig and Kieron wanted their home to honor the community’s rich architectural vernacular as well as the beauty of the land—and they teamed up with San Francisco firm Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects to execute it.
In response to the unique layout of the site, the firm positioned the home to take advantage of the long stretch of fairway, aligning an axis of glass parallel to it. The long gabled form of the home hosts the shared spaces, including the living and dining rooms, kitchen, and study, which has extra crash space for guests.
The firm then endeavored to "break the house apart so that the site could flow through," says Haesloop. A smaller connected, flat-roofed "cube" has a bedroom and bathroom, and a separate gabled building occupied by the master suite is nestled into the copse of trees.
This approach serves many functions. The three forms fashion a protected courtyard that provides privacy from the golf course and shelters the outdoor living space from coastal winds. The separate suite also gives Ludwig, who is an early riser, a peaceful retreat away from the main social areas.
"The owners requested that we explore fire-safe alternative cladding materials that would complement the Sea Ranch vernacular but require minimal maintenance and age well," says the firm. To that end, ribbed cement panels from Equitone cover the wall and roof planes. The architects paid special attention to how the roof cladding "folds down" to meet the wall for a crisp silhouette.
On the exterior, the firm balanced the Equitone panels with vertical cedar fins interspersed with expanses of glass. "The Sea Ranch used to be a ranch for grazing," says Haesloop. "So, there are still some beautiful barns that they’ve restored. Our thinking was that the syncopation of the wood posts is almost like barn framing."
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More Sea Ranch architecture:
Architects of Record: Turnbull Griffin Haesloop, Eric Haesloop, Stefan Hastrup, Sara Dewey
Builder: Empire Contracting
Structural Engineer: I.L. Welty & Associates
Landscape Design Company: Floriferous Landscaping, Inc
Geotech: Bauer Associates, Inc
Energy: Energy Calc. Co.
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