Written By: Angela Hatcher Super Stylish San Diego Home Blends Form and Function
Like an artist’s masterpiece, this stunning magnum opus is set blissfully atop a world-class Pacific Ocean view in prestigious La Jolla, an idyllic beach suburb in San Diego County. This breathtaking, one-level estate was a collaboration between the genius of award-winning modern architect Wallace Cunningham and the home’s original owners. Although it took three years to complete, it proved to be a place of paradise for the owners when they finally made it their home in 2000.
Cunningham states, “If you open up a structure to the undulating space of sky, landscape, and view—the building becomes an ever-evolving organism.” His words prove to be nothing but the truth as it is a sublime and awe-inspiring property from every vantage point. This gravity-defying masterpiece, affectionately named Brushstroke, boasts a commanding 1.3-acre view of the sea. It also includes exclusive access to a private road that leads five miles to a private beach flanked with 250-foot vertical sandstone cliffs.
This private property sits in one of La Jolla’s most affluent communities and offers the ultimate in security for the discerning buyer as it features the latest in a top-of-the-line visual security system. This home is a retreat, a private sanctuary and sophisticated at the same time. In La Jolla, there are many things to do. With its desirable climate, it is a magnet for active people who are often seen kayaking, swimming, playing tennis or simply enjoying the outdoors. As such, you better believe it is close to first-rate activities such as the Torrey Pines Golf Course, Black’s Beach, and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. However, if you are more of the indoor type, many upscale shopping and dining options are also easily accessible. Brushstroke is nestled in the perfect location to either have a laid-back night in by the beach or a fun-filled night out at Downtown San Diego.
The raised structure is a rare, but uncomplicated treasure as it is a simple glass box. It is bold. It is pure. It is daring. The rectangular, contemporary structure boasts 5, 000 square feet on a 56, 000-square-foot lot. The pristine living space becomes expansive and visibly unrestrained with an unexpected 3, 000-square-foot terrace. From the open terrace and throughout the interior, the home features 11-foot movable panels of glass with doorways that open completely, making the indoor and outdoor space synonymous with one another. The structure is like a classical song that perfectly weaves both melody and harmony—it is organic and undeniably one with nature.
Cunningham has captured the yin and the yang of nature’s ever-evolving reflections of time and space. Also the spirit of the environment as it harmonizes with nature and its mood-changing views, its vast ocean, and its natural habitat. Rich, dark imported French limestone seamlessly covers the entire floor space. On the exterior of the property, the natural stone has been acid washed and sandblasted, and in the interior of the home it has been highly polished. The home is framed entirely in giant, naturally distressed and reclaimed ancient redwood timbers that were carefully disassembled from a 100-year-old water tower in California’s Redwood Empire (or North Coast) region of Northern California. An unusual hanging fireplace with a chimney over the hearth nobly takes center stage in the main living area. Although the home offers three spacious bedrooms, four spa-like baths, and a family room, the true pièce de résistance is the crescent-shaped, 12-foot-deep infinity pool that is covered in midnight black mosaic tile. A visual and aural sense of serenity transcends both time and space—it is tranquil, composed and soothing to one’s soul.
As evening falls, the lightscape adds an unexpected luminous effect. The reflection of water dances across the glass panels adding a glow both to the home and outdoor areas. The estate’s lush surroundings are that of traditional Japanese gardens designed by the famed modernist landscape architect, Joseph Yamada. “I believe that Yamada’s way of shaping grounds to look like they have been created by nature sets him apart from many of his contemporaries, ” says Charles Birnbaum, founder and president of The Cultural Landscape Foundation. Unlimited trees, mature bonsais, forest bamboo, and winding pathways trail through graceful and delicate flower gardens with pebbles resting underneath the raised house. A tennis court is also featured on the west side of the property.
Co-listing agent and real estate expert Bob Andrews is passionate about this extraordinary La Jolla treasure. He says, “This property is simply one of the best homes from an aesthetic and functionality point of view. It’s one of the best I’ve ever been in; there is nothing else like it.” The home is a fusion of unmatched natural wonder and architectural design that merges into one organic being. With unparalleled craftsmanship, Brushstroke is a testament of pure simplicity.
9704 Black Gold Rd
La Jolla, CA 92037
Willis Allen Real Estate/Christie’s International Real Estate
1131 Wall Street
La Jolla, CA 92037