HOUSE PORN: A Big Sur Modern along the California Coast.

I recently wrote about what might just be the ugliest house in America. And suggested that “wealth does not breed taste” when it comes to architectural design. It got me thinking of another house—a neighbor to the ugliest house in the world. It is what materialized when an owner’s artist sensibility combined with a designer’s vision and a builder’s talent. 

The house on Lone Palm Drive and a stones-throw from Hearst Castle, is a 5,000 square foot retreat nestled in a forest of Monterey Cypress trees on about 5 acres of oceanfront land on Califronia’s Central Coast. The house was designed by David Einung and built by Jim Glitch under the direction of a bachelor looking to create a Zen-like oasis at the ocean’s edge. Design and builder have been working along the Central Coast for decades (and who designed and built two of my personal residences) and make an amazing team.

The home is of a contemporary design—some call it a Big Sur Modern, with a decidedly Zen feel and uses the strength of natural elements to anchor it to the land and the sea. The home’s semi-circular design gives a sense of movement and sinuosity. Situated low and among a cypress forest, the home feels connected to the land, and welcomes you to the edge of the coast.

Designed and built over a few years at the turn of the last century its construction has forever changed the topography of this cliff along the ancient coastline, and the house will exist as long as time allows—far beyond any current generation. Ownership however, has changed multiple times during the last decade—swept up in life changes of new marriages, and bitter divorces, and a real estate bubble that burst and sent the home into bank ownership.

The original owner sold the house in 2006 for $5 million. The next owner, having fallen on hard times, allowed the bank to take ownership and in 2010 the house sold again for $2.5 million. Now, two-and-a-half years later, the house is again on the market for just under $6 million.

But despite its several owners, the home has maintained its Zen-like design, and placement atop the cliff. It may be the only constant on Lone Palm Drive.

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