Carmel Highlands #1

Carmel Highlands, situated about 5 miles south of Carmel, serves as the northern gateway to California’s scenic Big Sur coastline via Highway 1. The original home on Spindrift Lane represented a highly desirable front-line location on the rugged edge of the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean. However, it stood as a venerable relic, a dilapidated “ghost of a house,” rendered uninhabitable by the relentless ravages of the ocean, persistent fog, and corrosive salt air over the course of many decades.

The Challenge
The property’s historical significance as an ancestral site of the Esselen Indian Tribe, with over 6,000 years of habitation and fishing practices, mandated strict adherence to archaeological protocols during demolition and construction. Continuous oversight by a consulting archaeologist was essential, alongside movement restrictions throughout construction. Limited site access led to logistical challenges, requiring the staging and transportation of materials via smaller vehicles along Highway 1.

The Solution
Despite constraints, the architects showcased exceptional skill, resulting in a breathtaking oceanfront residence featuring a seamless blend of glass and stone, offering panoramic Pacific Ocean views. Collaborating closely with the architects and owners, Noel McNamee and the skilled building team brought this vision to life through meticulous planning and execution. The reconstruction included robust foundations, intricate steelwork, fine timber, and substantial stone elements. Custom mahogany windows and doors adorn the main residence and guest quarters, providing stunning ocean views. Topping it off, a copper roof adds a distinctive touch. With 4,980 square feet of refined living space, including four bedrooms, six bathrooms, and an attached guest house.

The Results
The revitalization of the property on Spindrift Lane in Carmel Highlands marks a remarkable transformation from a dilapidated relic to a stunning oceanfront residence. This beautifully landscaped two-acre estate stands as a testament to architectural excellence and careful preservation of cultural heritage.

Architect: Carver + Schicketanz AIA.