Stone Villa

Tucked into the mountains of the Santa Lucia Preserve, located between Carmel and Big Sur, sits a land trust conservancy where the owners of a 28-acre property dreamed of a retreat dedicated to spending time with family and friends. As avid travelers with a fondness for the Tuscan region of Italy, they were inspired by the timeworn towns and villas scattered throughout its countryside, particularly drawn to old-world stone craftsmanship. A space dedicated to entertaining and connecting with nature, the design aims to reinterpret these sensibilities through a modern lens.

The site-sensitive plan situates four separate stone structures within an existing one acre clearing set along a ridgeline, overlooking an open valley to the east and surrounded by a mix of coast and valley live oaks. The structures – a living pavilion, the owner’s suite and office pavilion, a pool cabana and guest suite, and a garage – are stitched together by exterior pathways, gardens, and courtyards and prioritize indoor/outdoor connections, developed in collaboration with the landscape architects. Strategically located to immerse occupants in the landscape and fill each space with natural daylight, thickened walls of local granite ground the pavilions and carved corners capture views of the valley and wooded mountain ridges through openings in tree canopies.

With the living pavilion centrally located, the pool cabana to the east, the owner’s suite and office to the south, and garage to the west, each structure gradually steps down with the terrain as it negotiates the contours of the sloping site. Large overhangs and deep window recesses offer sun protection and focused views of the surrounding landscape, while openings between buildings direct prevailing winds to naturally cool the outdoor living spaces during the summer months. A tower and roof deck set above the living pavilion offer views from the tree canopy, a perfect nest to watch the sun rise and set over the mountainous coast.

LOCATION Carmel, California


Landscape Architect: Ground Studio Landscape

Interior Designer: Leverone Design
Structural Engineer: Strandberg Engineering

Civil Engineer: Whitson Engineers