It’s what every house aspires to be: “A place one would never want to leave,” which is how judge Sherrill Canet responds to this residence by West Chin Architect. Like some magical structure plopped mysteriously at the shore, the house appears to float above the ground while simultaneously sloping toward the ocean, so that even the most deeply recessed rooms have an unobstructed view. Indeed, it’s sometimes difficult to tell whether you’re indoors or out, particularly when the 26-foot-wide hangar door is opened to the elements. Not just statement-making, the house comprises environmentally sensitive materials like laminated lumber and solar roof panels. The latter efficiently collect, radiate, and disperse heat, but judge Scott Sanders insists that the house is “very cool.”

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