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Breaker's Beach House
California

This vacation house is perched within a stone’s throw from Breaker’s Beach, a popular surfing spot south of Santa Cruz. The lot’s small size (actually two lots totaling 4550 s.f.) necessitated a compact, efficient design. The site’s close proximity to the beach afforded serene views of the Pacific’s rolling swells, along with frigid ocean breezes, which presented a definite design challenge. A 6’ wide raised ipe boardwalk connects the small bluestone entry patio with the main entry ipe deck and bluestone sunken patio.

The main patio space is enclosed by a semicircular 42” high corten steel wall. In front of the wall, a narrow planting of emerald green horsetail rush creates a linear textural kinetic sculpture, as it moves in the slightest breeze. A circular firepit, with a bluestone cap and a Cor-Ten steel fascia sits off center within the space and provides welcome warmth in this heat starved climate. Constructed of ipe stair treads and Cor-Ten steel stringers, a set of curving stairs to the upper terrace follow the arc of the Cor-Ten wall below. The color palette is comprised of three elements: the cool grey of the weathered ipe decking and fence, the rich rusty red brown of the Cor-Ten steel wall and stairs, and the dusty blues of the full range bluestone paving; and was carefully chosen to reflect the misty hues of the ocean, beach and sky.

Around the deck and patio, a selection of three ornamental grasses create a seamless transition from the grass lined cliffs that form a backdrop to the sandy beach below.