Hole In One pix
Pfau Architecture and Terry Hunziker win big with a hillside house in Pebble Beach
Edie Cohen -- Interior Design, 2/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
A flamed-granite terrace with a mahogany-capped steel railing wraps the main level of a house that Pfau Architects built into a hillside in Pebble Beach. Interior designer Terry Hunziker, whose firm handled the furnishings, chose John Hutton's teak table, chairs, and chaise longue.
The living room's focal wall is limestone salvaged from buildings in the Yangtze River Valley; teak, hickory, and mahogany round out the materials palette. To complement it, Hunziker selected a custom daybed upholstered in suede, a pair of armchairs covered in linen, a Christian Liaigre stained-oak table, and a crushed-paper lantern by Hideo Kusunoki.
The kitchen features cherrywood-fronted custom cabinets, granite counters, stainless-steel appliances, and hickory flooring.
In one of the children's bedrooms on the lower level, the custom bunk beds and desk are white oak. Dakota Jackson's chair is maple. Center:
In the meditation room, a table made from a tree stump accompanies Hutton's teak lounge chair and ottoman, which face a fountain of hand-hammered granite.
Philippe Starck's fiberglass tub stands out against the master bath's cherry walls and ipé floor.
Constructed of newly quarried Chinese limestone, the fireplace wall stands between the master bedroom's custom chenille-upholstered chaise longue and the cherry-paneled study's leather-covered chair and ottoman by Charles and Ray Eames.A silk curtain and limestone wall meet in a corner of the master bedroom. The custom end table and nightstands are stained oak.
In the den, Peter Pfau chose new limestone for the fireplace surround, cherry for the built-ins, and hickory for the floor; Hunziker added Liaigre's leather-covered chairs, a custom stained-oak table, and a custom wool rug.
The copper on the roof parapet was treated with silver nitrite.
A trio of stacked sliders opens the living room to the granite terrace, while the mahogany-framed glass door perpendicular to them is the official front entry.
In the living room, nature-minded art and objects include Diana Rudsten's sculpture of branches coated in plaster, next to the daybed, and a Philippine bowl made of vines, on the table.
Granite pavers link the house to the freestanding meditation room.
|Clients change their minds. One day, they're hot for mid-century modern. The next, it's Hollywood glamour, Billy Haines– style. A hankering for taupes flip-flops into a taste for black-and-white.
It's far less often that a job starts out as a renovation in one place and ends up as a ground-up endeavor in another location entirely. However, that's what happened to Pfau Architecture.
First commissioned to update a family's primary residence in Northern California's Marin County, Peter Pfau found himself down on the Monterey Peninsula, accompanying his clients to look at a potential weekend property. They showed him a 3/4-acre lot off the the famous 17-Mile Drive at the Pebble Beach resort, surrounded by its championship golf course. Views toward Carmel and Big Sur were knockouts, but the hillside site had a major drawback: One of Pebble Beach's typical manicured McMansions was already under construction there.
The style of the house wasn't Pfau's clients' favorite. "They were interested in the Monterey tradition," he says. "Whatever that means." (Mission style, wood beams, stonework.) However, he saw that he could build a contemporary design on the existing footprint, a fat U shape of 6,500 square feet, with the lower level embedded in the hill and the main level above. "I told them I could respect Monterey," he adds. "But through the lens of Irving Gill." (The San Diego architect who championed the arts and crafts movement in the early 1900's.)
And so the deal was sealed. Pfau's clients decided to leave the Marin County house as is—and Pfau never set foot there again.
In Pebble Beach, his vision translated into simple lines anchored by materials with gravitas and dimension. Exterior walkways and terraces are flamed granite. Interior walls are custom-colored plaster. Rectangular slabs of limestone, salvaged from buildings in the Yangtze River Valley, form focal walls in the living room and master bedroom. Newly quarried Chinese limestone—long slabs with a hand-hammered finish—is stacked to build a banquette in the living room and fireplace surrounds in the master bedroom and den.
Wood abounds. Ceilings are raw teak; floors are hickory; window frames are mahogany. Pfau used cherry for shelving in the den, cabinets in the kitchen, and walls in the master suite. There's also cherry millwork in the family room—which is downstairs, along with three bedrooms, in the self-contained universe for the couple's children.
Of course, views are integral. Stacked sliding doors opening to terraces compose the front and back of the 600-square-foot living room: One set looks past the entry, to the Pacific; another faces the back patio. The 450-square-foot master bedroom and adjoining study both have sliders. Windows run along one entire wall of the kitchen and dining area. And all this transparency balances the heft of the stone and wood.
Interior designer Terry Hunziker—whose firm handled the clients' former Seattle home—calibrated the Pebble Beach house's furnishings so they'd complement Pfau's architecture. (An interesting departure for Hunziker, who typically flies solo.)
Colors and textures derive from the wood and stone. In the living room, grouped around Christian Liaigre's stained-oak cocktail table, Hunziker's daybed is upholstered in tufted brown suede, armchairs are covered in cream linen, and the banquette cushions' linen is gray-violet. The wool rug is mushroom-colored. Organic objects and art—another tribute to the house's earthiness— include a bowl woven from vines, a wood-branch sculpture, and a sepia photograph of an iceberg. A white crushed-paper lantern, standing on a stained-oak table, adds a note of deconstruction.
Taupe and slate gray envelop the master bedroom, where the southern sun plays across the stained-oak bed and contrasting surfaces of old and new limestone. If that's not reposeful enough, the bedroom and adjacent study are linked by an outdoor terrace of granite pavers to a freestanding cube of mahogany-framed glass, a 250-square-foot meditation chamber. Although its interior fountain built of hand-hammered granite might appeal more to new-age types, the timeless simplicity would even please Irving Gill himself.