A completely secluded masterpiece overlooks Hurricane Point.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
There’s a house in Big Sur that’s quite literally on the coast and has been for 33 years. Positioned directly above the Pacific on five completely secluded acres, it misses naught of the cinematic ocean, cliffs and mountain slopes or the treasures of spouting whale pods twice a year, all blessed with every conceivable skyscape.
It’s discovered down a private driveway on the ocean side just a whisker south of Hurricane Point. Parking in front of a series of low stone walls that curve in rhythmic terraced descent all the way to the front patio, a person can be forgiven for responding with wide unblinking eyes for seconds on end, or emitting sounds from “O’m’Gawd!” to perhaps a delicate whispered… prayer. The location is phenomenonal.
Here steep cliffs cradle a sleepless sea, and graceful repeat patterns of high hills above unseen road fold softly like a long taffeta skirt shifting through shades of greens and platinum in response to the changing light. Even so, it’s the open ocean seen for as far as the Earth’s curvature allows that’s forever the centerpiece. In this house (three bedrooms, two full baths) that expanse is observed from every room from windows so high above it.
Structured like a cottage and designed with sophisticated interiors, the house was tucked freely into the protective curve of the private drive in back while facing the sea from a cliff in front. There are vaulted ceilings in the living room and the master (at opposite ends) and except for the carpeted master, flooring in each room is a different hue of travertine marble squares inlaid with thinly-sliced, nearly translucent agates and other stone so well-integrated that they become a meditation.
The front door widens to an open, spacious entry where living room and kitchen meet. The living room has 8-foot high windows in three panels along the two outer walls, with sliders opening to the park-like setting to the south, where three cypress of imperial bearing stand at the edge of the cliff. These sights steal attention momentarily, but the room quickly commands its own due – and it’s compelling.
A stone chimney reaches to the pitch of the ceiling in the living room, and continues in plaster as the third wall. The fireplace hearth of thick birch is 2½-feet high and continues as a deep bench to a wall of windows. Around the corner past the kitchen, a formal dining room seems sculpted into place and has its own unimpeded view.
In the kitchen, a birchwood breakfast bar meets the many cabinets of the same: that woody warmth is punctuated by new stainless appliances that gleam in the light of sky streaming through the front rooms and from windows above the sinks overlooking walled gardens.
Beyond the dining room, a full bath with tub rim meets the sill of a massive window over the ocean. It is quite simply a fantasy. Beyond the bath is a lovely little room with sliders to the walkways along the cliffs. A second bedroom with an interior configuration is currently the ideal family/media room.
The master suit is possibly la pièce de résistance: private, huge and stunning, with cathedral ceiling, wood walls shaped with gentle angles and lots of perfectly-placed smaller windows that open on those inimitable views seen from even the bath.
To be sheltered from – while at one with – the elements here is perhaps the quintessential living art.
Price: $3,500,000 41000 Highway 1, Big Sur • Contact Colleen Goff, John Saar Properties. 262-1120.