This Renovated Sea Ranch Retreat Is an Absolute Must-See
In 1963, landscape designer Lawrence Halprin devised a master plan for a community that would live in harmony with the natural environment. The resulting Sea Ranch, which stretches 10 miles along the Pacific coastline in Sonoma County, California, is characterized by timber-frame, wood-clad structures that are in dialogue with the local climate and terrain. Sited on a bluff within this pioneering community is the vacation home of a lawyer couple. After purchasing the residence in 2007, they lived in the home as it was for four years, even keeping the previous owners’ furniture. Envisioning a retreat that would accommodate their extended family and guests, they then recruited Butler Armsden Architects and Leverone Design to help guide the project.
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In keeping with the philosophy of Sea Ranch, the four-year remodel and addition honors the landscape and emphasizes a sense of place through material integrity. Vertical grain, clear cedar siding clads the exterior while clear fir wraps the interior, and floor-to-ceiling windows offer stunning glimpses of the sea and surrounding meadows. White rift oak, stained a smoky tobacco hue, creates a complementary floor. The clients, who have three adult children, requested durable finishes that would withstand the comings and goings of a large gathering.
Butler Armsden Architects added a new tower to hold a second office, accessed through a powder-coated steel circular stair. The existing garage was transformed into a family room that blends comfort and function—zealous Giants fans, the homeowners now have a communal place to watch games on the TV in front of a fireplace. A new outbuilding houses guest bedrooms, lounge areas, and a garage. All throughout the family retreat, Leverone Design selected fabrics whose texture and color palettes reflect the seaside environs, and work well with the whitewashed fir paneling.
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