Buck Creek House Merges with the Treacherous Cliffs of Southern California’s Big Sur
By: Ross Brooks
Built into the slope of a cliff that plummets 250-feet into the Pacific Ocean, Buck Creek House is an impressive three bedroom home built by Fougeron Architecture that is inseparable from its surroundings. The long, thin form takes its inspiration from the banana slug, a creature commonly found in nearby seaside forests. While the outside of the house was designed to withstand harsh winds and salt water, the inside is a tranquil paradise that ensures even the harshest of weather conditions can’t shatter the silence.
The house is cantilevered 12 feet back from the cliff face, which not only protects the fragile ecosystem, but also ensures the structure is a safe place for people to live. On the south-side, a copper facade wraps itself up the wall, and over on to the roof, where it also hangs over the other side to provide protection from the sun, wind and ocean.
In complete contrast, the north side is made entirely of glass to make sure the owners have unparalleled ocean views. For when the occupants want to get even closer to nature, there is also an outdoor sitting area shielded by the main bulk of the house, which provides an ideal place to relax on a sunny day.
Entry to the home is at the highest point, while the more private areas can be found closer to the cliff’s drop-off point. Two rectangular boxes form the main body of the house, linked by an all-glass library that is flooded with light. Various other functions within the house are defined by subtle changes in levels and roof planes, as opposed to harsh dividing walls. At the lowest point sits a double-cantilevered master bedroom, complete with breathtaking views through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Overall, the house proves that it’s possible to create a beautiful place to live, even in the face of some extreme environmental challenges, and less than hospitable terrain. [photography by Joe Fletcher]