How many times have you dreamt of ditching the city for a wind-swept beach house somewhere with sand and surf right outside your door? Well, if you've got eight mil in the bank, you could have the best of both worlds, and a four-bedroom home designed by some famous local architects to boot.
Situated right on Great Highway across the street from San Francisco's Ocean Beach, the Ernest and Esther Born House was built in 1949 by UC Berkeley alum Ernest Born—an architect, photographer, and painter—and his wife as their personal residence. (The pair collaborated on a number of projects in the area.) The modernist home, which was dubbed by neighbors as "Born's Barn"—due to its vertical redwood siding and straight roofline—is a midcentury gem.
Though only 25 feet wide, the original main house has a surprising amount of light-filled space, with a lofty living room extending over two floors and opening up through a tall window to a protected garden. A kitschy brick-and-wood fireplace, which would have been the peak of chic in 1950, serves as the living room's anchor, while glass walls bring the outdoors in. The ground floor also held a photo studio with a darkroom, small garage, kitchen, and small patio. Upstairs are two bedrooms, a bathroom, study, and a balcony that opens up to the living room and has views of the ocean.
Things suddenly become modern as you approach a suspended glass bridge that connects this historic home to a contemporary, three-story steel-clad structure all designed by SF's Aidlin Darling. Here walls of glass open up to a sprawling park-like backyard with eight mature cypress and pine trees. The home pays homage to the Born abode with minimalist midcentury-inspired elements like wood-paneled walls. Luxurious touches include a master bathroom soaking tub with killer beach views.
Location: 2020 Great Hwy. (Outer Sunset)
Lot Size: 8,480 sq. ft.
Asking price: $8,000,000
// For more information, visit compass.com.