The design is something of a merger, bringing classic English country houses and modern coastal California homes together into one grand design.
The architecture was carried out by renowned architect Richard Beard (while a principal with BAR Architects), with exceptional interior design by Arthur Dunnam for Jed Johnson Studio.
Big Sur is a rugged stretch of California’s central coast between Carmel and San Simeon. With cliffs plunging hundreds of feet down to rocky coves churning with foamy surf, it’s no wonder that many people consider Big Sur the most dramatic stretch of coastline anywhere in the world.
We talk to architect Richard Beard about the design.
‘Our clients for this project, a Chicago couple with two young boys, had a long history with the Big Sur area when they acquired the property,’ says Richard.
‘The home itself is linear, just one room wide, affording it views to both ocean and garden. The owners also have business interests in the Chicago Cubs, a venerable American baseball team, and it was important to develop an area on the higher, flatter ground to allow for casual games for children and adults. The slopes were designed to be home to the exotica of Northern California native plants, and sheared cypress, all presenting a calm environment in contrast to the ever changing sea scene.’
The property is surrounded by Cypress trees that make it entirely private, almost invisible from the coastal road adjacent.
‘This was the design challenge,’ he says, ‘to embrace the many different qualities of the place in an architecture that was appropriate and distinguished. Our approach was to use strong, heavy materials for the home, and to place it at a comfortable distance from the crashing sea.’
The house features a collection of regional art, and antiques.
Photography/ Nick Johnson
Architecture/ Richard Beard
Interior design/ Arthur Dunnam for Jed Johnson Studio