Our design for this remodel of a large house is built on the qualities of the existing architecture. The house is located directly on 17-Mile Drive, a scenic road on the Monterey Peninsula in Northern California. The drive winds along the Pacific coastline and passes famous golf courses, villas, natural landmarks, and spectacular natural settings. It is a major tourist attraction in the US. More than 1.5 million visitors from all over the world pass through 17-Mile Drive every year. The house is only one of a few along the drive with a direct visual relationship to the namesake beach. The original house was built in the early 1970s, in an architecture roughly inspired by the influential Sea Ranch Style, with a beautiful sculptural appearance of a clustered composition of building elements. Our design process became an exercise in restoring some of these architectural qualities disturbed through an insensitive addition and some upgrades to the house in the early 1990s. While very large, the addition didn’t generate many spatial qualities for the house, and the spaces of the addition were indifferent, hard to use, and partially uncomfortable. The house appeared like it had two parts, one with great spaces and high architectural quality, including a strong relation to the breathtaking coastal setting, while the other half ignored the natural relationship and the quality established by the architecture of the initial house. For us, it was crucial to transform some of these newer spaces to increase their livability and bring them closer to the character of the original building while updating both to contemporary standards. Our design also introduces multiple upgrades to the house in close collaboration with the engaged clients, including a more resilient facade, addressing the exposure of the house to the elements in this unprotected location, and a roof terrace capitalizing on the one-of-a-kind location. The new stone facade references a regional stonework tradition in the local area. The result is a house that is contemporary in its nature; while referencing local traditions. The new design capitalizes on the benefits of the amazing surroundings, finally unfolding the great potential and qualities set by the initial building fifty years ago.

In Progress

Maria Paz de Moura Castro &

Mark Mückenheim

Mark Mueckenheim,
Maria Paz De Moura Castro,

Hannah Moon,

Yi-hsien Rachel Wang

Museum of the 20th Century

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