P.G. mid-century-modern apartments offer bay views, bright interiors.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Pacific Grove has the newest Tenants in Common on the Peninsula. Beth Cort refurbished and redesigned the 1962, two-section building, constructed before architecture had changed dramatically from the 1950s into the 1960s.
It’s called Oceans 7 and gives an impressive presentation from the sidewalk through its broad, open-ended, open-to-the-sky walkway separating the two parts of the two-story building (one side numbered 2-6, the other, 1-7) that are united by patterns made by the mid-century-modern stairway railings. Their clean lines criss-cross as they curve around the landings, recalling the optical rhythms of 1950s functional sculpture. A subdued little square of a garden atop a platform on the far side of the courtyard has a small, glazed spherical fountain with water lazily covering its whole shape.
(Tenants in common refers to the equal or unequal holding of property by two or more people).
Although there are three floor plans available, all Oceans 7 units are two bedrooms and one bathroom, in about 900 square feet. Each apartment has chrome kitchen appliances, pale-wood with non-glare glass cabinets and understated chrome pulls, linen closet, master closets with built-in drawers and shelves, a stacked washer/dryer, walnut floors, carpeted bedrooms, ceramic-tiled baths, Corian counters, mid-century-modern fixtures, subterranean storage cages and either a carport or garage, depending on the particular apartment. Every unit has independent heat and on-demand hot water. Each apartment sees the bay, some more grandly than others.
Apartment No. 2 is the only ground-floor unit, and so has the only terrace, a nice-sized one that Cort designed in keeping with Pacific Grove, even as the building itself is retro. The terrace sits back from the street under trees, surrounded by shrubbery that needs maturity to screen for privacy. There is a peek of the bay.
Of the apartment’s interior, Cort says, “I wanted more natural light, so first we put floor-to-ceiling glass panels that include the terrace sliders across the whole front of the apartment.” A thick wall between the kitchen and living room is structural so three open squares were made along the top of it directly across from the kitchen window. It works. In the bathroom, glass bricks form one tub/shower wall that transforms light from the window into ultra-soft, ersatz watercolors that never are the same twice.
Apartment Nos. 3 and 7 are on the second floor of the second section. They tend to feel larger than 900 square feet because of their floor plans and the expanse of views from their large balconies off the dining rooms and across the bedrooms. The bay is impressive from these more-lofty locations. Landmark buildings can be spied along the water.
The roof over the stairways and entry passage is glass and quite wonderful in many ways. There’s no official third floor but a penthouse unit atop the even-numbered section, apartment No. 8, seems the most sumptuous of lookouts, a penthouse of respectable standing in the community.
A wonderful factor in the pleasure of these apartments is that they’re shockingly quiet. “We blew insulation into every wall, floor and ceiling,” Cort says. “Then to test, we turned on the stereo really high and checked the noise level in every apartment.” The quiet is such that one is actually surprised to step outside and hear what’s actually going on.
Cort gave so much attention to details here that it’s like a treasure hunt. Hint: Start with the front door hinges, inside and out.