Scenic Drive Carmel

This beautifully remodeled home is located front line on Carmel-by-the-Sea’s coveted Scenic Road, a waterfront one-way street that borders the soft white sand beaches of the Pacific Ocean and offers breathtaking sunsets. Originally constructed over a century ago, the residence began as a modest 2-bedroom beach cottage. Since then, the home has undergone significant renovations and expansions, with notable evidence found in uncovered concrete bearing inscriptions dating back to 1923 and 1963.

The Challenges
Multiple expansions over the years had created a home with disjointed and compromised architectural integrity. The residence also exhibited significant signs of aging and deterioration, exacerbated by prolonged exposure to the elements of the Pacific Ocean. The exterior bore the unmistakable marks of weathering, with numerous leaky windows and structural flaws. Notably, a substantial portion of the second-level floor system had been constructed atop the remnants of an old carport roof and a covered outdoor patio, a testament to lax building codes of the era. These structural anomalies necessitated comprehensive reconstruction to meet contemporary standards of safety and functionality.

The Solutions
The owner hired the highly professional and skilled experts Henry Ruhnke at WRD Architects and Noel McNamee at MCCI as their design and build team. While Carmel’s strict building codes would not allow further exterior expansion of the home, the interior of the home was completely gutted, most walls reconfigured, and the entire home was updated and modernized. Relocating the entry to the north side opened the main level great room for full use. Substantial exterior modifications also took place, with the majority of the existing structure stripped away and replaced with new, larger windows, complemented by elegant vertical clear cedar siding. An exquisite glass and steel cantilevered deck, positioned to capitalize on ocean views, was a notable addition.

To provide easy access to both the new north side entrance and a new elevated random stone patio, a complex yet stunning arrangement of colored board-formed concrete retaining walls and planters were meticulously constructed. This addition not only serves a practical purpose but also enhances the overall aesthetics of the project, seamlessly blending functionality with design excellence.

The Results
The results of this extensive renovation project are nothing short of remarkable. Situated on Carmel-by-the-Sea’s prestigious Scenic Road, the once modest 2-bedroom beach cottage has been transformed into a stunning coastal retreat. Despite facing significant challenges, including structural anomalies and weathering, the expert design and build team led by Henry Ruhnke and Noel McNamee executed a comprehensive revitalization.

Architect: Henry Ruhnke WRD Architects

Photography: Kip Evans