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Gently embraced by sweeping beach grasses and soft mounds of sand, a quiet, unassuming beach house expresses the spirit of a family’s architectural history. With a respectful nod to a Santa Cruz courtyard house designed for the same family by William Wurster, Butler Armsden met the challenge of the ebbing and flowing coastal environment by creating a house that reaches out into and opens itself up to its surroundings. A central living room anchors the house to its site, while wings housing the bedrooms flank outdoor spaces from where one can bask in the views of the ocean or the mountains. The experience of the landscape is not merely an outdoor one, as sliding living room doors almost disappear behind the adjoining windows to create the sense of an open beach pavilion. Inside, light, vertical grain fir lines the floors and walls and then open up to visible beams and rafters, recalling the ribs of a wooden boat. A breakfast nook, the space closest to the ocean, captures the overall spirit of the house: a feeling of seclusion from haste and immersion in calm.

Photographer
Matthew Millman

General Contractor
Matarozzi Pelsinger

Interior Designer
Barbara Scavullo Design

Landscape Designer
Scott Lewis