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Big Sur, California, USA | 2015
Architects: Form4 Architecture
The Sea Song project is located in the immeasurable natural beauty of Big Sur on the California coast. Unobtrusive by design, it is both private from the main road and utterly transparent to what lies ahead. Likened to a trio of gliding Manta Rays, its environmental footprint is virtually null, being raised on a cantilevered podium causing minimum disturbance to the site.
Consistent with our commitment to environmental stewardship, Sea Song is an architectural creature breathing with its natural surroundings. This trio is designed to be self-sustaining, net zero energy, and aims at LEED Platinum certification. The full array of sustainable techniques is employed consolidating that the architecture is a natural extension of this site. Photo voltaics ease off-the-grid living. Self-cleaning glass, rainwater retention cistern, and xeriscape secure the sensible use of water sources. And the landscaping is intentionally kept non-formal, to reinforce the intent that Sea Song has always belonged to this site. Mecho-shades screen light passing through the wide expanses of glass, while the building cocoons itself against unwanted changes of the elements.
A curvilinear sensibility informs the shaping of the three pavilions. Internally, it is an immaterial enclosure with no corridors, all living spaces. Concrete baths anchor forms to the earth where the programmatic part resides. All else floats in inebriating lightness.
Every chance to open the sightlines to the ocean was taken in these natural lyrical forms. In entering each pavilion at midpoint, a gap gives glimpses of the vastness that to expect beyond that threshold, anticipation and reward upon coming in. The interior surfaces exhibit warm natural materials and carefully positioned art pieces, yet are purposefully left plain to become background to its majestic outside.