A Sea Ranch Home Dubbed “The Starship Enterprise” Lists for $899K

This cedar-clad home in Northern California’s famed Sea Ranch was designed by architect J. Carson Bowler and echoes the nautical style of ships and wharfs.
Text by

The Sea Ranch was first conceived in the 1960s by a group of architects who envisioned an idyllic community along the rocky Northern California coast. Homes within the master-planned community would recede into their surroundings and adhere to strict building guidelines to minimize their impact on nature. While not among the original planners, architect J. Carson Bowler designed several of the area’s homes in the 1980s. His idiosyncratic style of architecture reflected the surroundings of Sonoma County and included nautical details inspired by ships and wharves, such as windows that recall those along the bridge of a ship.

Like many of J. Carson Bowler’s designs, the home at 235 Broad Reach has a ship-like shape that’s clearer when approaching its southern facade. The structure is nestled within cypress groves and rolling dunes in The Sea Ranch, a community of modernist homes located along a 10-mile stretch of California’s famous Highway 1. 

A resident of Bodega Bay about an hour down the coast, Carson is perhaps most famous for designing the local post office there. The structure is nestled into a hill below the highway and features a sod roof that blends into the landscape—all to keep from interrupting stunning views along Highway 1. "He was always thinking about the coastal environment, about how a building would fit there," said longtime friend Doug Murray, a Sebastopol-based architect.

As if ascending into a ship's hull, a staircase leads up to the home's main entrance. Clad in cedar-shake siding, the home also offers a two-car garage and a wind-protected courtyard off the master suite.

This 2,300-square-foot home, dubbed The Starship Enterprise, was built in 1986 and offers two spacious bedrooms and two full bathrooms. Divided evenly between public and private spaces, the home enjoys sweeping views from its second-floor living area, while the bedrooms are tucked away downstairs. Keep scrolling for a look inside the home, which was recently reduced to the current asking price of $899,000.

In comparison to the front, the back of the home is markedly different as the roof gently slopes down to meet the earth. "His architecture reflected the Sonoma Coast," says another friend and local real estate agent George Capone. "He took advantage of that to bring the views inside."

A large living room—with sliding doors along one side and skylights along the other—feels like a gallery inside the Starship fleet. The open space flows into a dining room and kitchen at the opposite end.

The living room features built-in storage along several walls, as well as a wet bar in the corner. The angled skylights look out above a grove of cypress trees surrounding the home, creating the experience of looking out from the bridge of a ship.

Carson was also known for his galley kitchens, which he deemed a more efficient use of space. Views of a neighboring cypress tree are captured by a narrow window along the end, while another large skylight opens up the wall above the sink.

The left side of the kitchen opens up to a dining area. Large slider doors brighten the entire space as the ceiling gently slopes to frame an outside deck.

Accessible from both the dining and living rooms, a large deck runs along the front of the home. This serene spot offers a place to relax while listening to the competing sounds of seagulls flying overhead and the ocean just yards away.

A look at the spacious master suite, one of two bedrooms in the home. A fireplace warms the space, which also features built-ins and a large sliding door leading out to the private courtyard.

The unique master bathroom features two of the largest skylight installations. Situated at ground level and tucked behind cypress trees, the nautical-inspired space offers a private spot for relaxing in the large soaking tub.

On the third level, a roof deck looks out over rolling dunes and cypress groves in The Sea Ranch. The home is conveniently located just steps from Gualala Point Regional Park and several hiking trails along the coastal bluffs.

235 Broad Reach, The Sea Ranch, CA 95497 is currently listed for $899,000  by Kristen Winant of The Coastal Real Estate Company - Liisberg & Kalinoski.

Know of a home for sale or rent that should be featured on Dwell.com? Find out how to submit to Dwell.

Published

Save

Get the Real Estate Newsletter

From midcentury classics to the best contemporary spaces for sale, see the latest listings for modern homes on the market around the world.