The design of an oceanfront property along the dramatic and often severe landscape of the Big Sur coast involved balancing the client’s interest in maximizing functional space with the extreme conditions of steep, erodible terrain and intense climatic conditions. The resulting landscape provides a series of terraces, generously sized pathways, and stone seating walls to serve the client’s needs for entertaining. Materials such as local granite and weathered timbers respond to regional geologic and cultural histories, complementing the powerful sense of place inherent in the site.
Our goal of celebrating the site is expressed through the use of elemental materials with minimal manipulation. Drainage from the site activates open cobbled swales, and stone, wood, and steel create the material palette. Conventional garden elements such as sculpture, fountains and fire pit are interpreted through this rugged vernacular. Here, sinuous walls are formed to echo the tidal patterns of the ocean and both water and fire emerge from large natural boulders.