By Jenny Sullivan, BUILDER magazine
There’s plenty to admire about this cliff-dwelling house off the Southern California coast. It’s got a 60-foot infinity pool, retractable glass doors that open wide to the breeze, radiant heat floors in the kitchen and bathrooms, and a unique exterior skin of chili-pepper–red steel-trowel stucco, accented with quartzite stonework. It’s also insulated with recycled denim cotton panels and is armed with two solar hot water systems—one that supplies the house and another that generates 500,000 BTUs per day to heat the pool year-round.
Building the 7,000-square-foot residence on a perch that most would consider better suited for an osprey nest required some acrobatics. “We went in with a bobcat and tiered the site on different levels,” explains custom builder Gregg Golenberg. “Rather than coming in with large equipment and massively grading, we had to do everything with small machinery.”
But perhaps the coolest aspect of this luxury residence is its water story. In an area where fresh water is often scarce, it’s got the requisite low-flush toilets (which use salt water) and a side yard and third-floor deck outfitted with synthetic turf. To keep the natural landscaping healthy and prevent erosion, the house is equipped with a desalination system that uses reverse osmosis to convert 800 gallons of salt water per day into fresh water for irrigation.