Ray House By Wallace Cunningham — Curves and Glass Walls Shape a Dramatic Seaside Residence

The bold structural curves of this residence evoke modernist architect John Lautner—one of Wallace Cunningham’s architectural heroes. In the living area, unobtrusive steel supports resemble cylindrical sculptures, while the cantilevered fireplace appears to hold the slope of the roof on its shoulders — the fire within arising from a bed of glass shards.

Open and radial in plan, the home’s configuration corresponds to the coastal landscape, to unobstructed panorama of sandstone-colored bluffs along the Pacific. “My object was to heighten the view, while disguising what we didn’t want to see as beautifully as possible,” the architect explains.

The site is buffeted by ocean winds, so a sheltered refuge was sought, so the plan radiates outward from a protected courtyard, away from breezes, and where the owners often dine. The most significant rooms are arranged along the continuous 20-foot-high wall of glass facing the ocean while other rooms, including a studio for the wife, are situated beside pocket gardens—poetic visual vignettes that happen to mask the neighboring houses.


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