Bizarrely shaped California sculpture house selling for $1.4 million

An eye-popping, orblike structure known as the sculpture house is on the market in La Selva Beach, Calif. for $1.4 million.

Built in 1969 by landscape architect and artist Mary Gordon, the white dome close to the sea and surrounded by a walled garden was originally designed as an art studio.

“She wanted to design something back then that would be her studio and an escape from the outside world,” says listing agent Nanette Schuster of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “She wanted to create a piece of sculptured artwork that mimics the free-flowing lines of nature.”

Just 700 square feet, the home is located between Monterey and Santa Cruz. It features multiple windows, reading nooks, a fireplace, and spiral staircase. Gordon was reportedly so delighted with the light-filled space, she decided to make the one-bedroom beach retreat her second home.

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And don’t be fooled by the irregular shape—the home is solid. It was constructed with concrete reinforced with rebar, and finished with plaster.

“The structure is extremely sound. It withstood the [1989] Loma Prieta earthquake,” Schuster says. “It’s not going anywhere.”

Current owner Cynthia Williams bought the home from Gordon's family in 2013 for $560,000.

She embarked on a top-to-bottom renovation and refreshed the kitchen with custom cabinets and concrete counters. She also modernized the spiral staircase, converted the fireplace to gas, added double-pane windows, and put in a standalone tub in the master bath.

The home "satisfies my need to feel surrounded by beauty and luxury," Williams says. "One of my favorite spots is soaking in the oversized, round tub while gazing out into the garden."

The sculpture house sits on a street near Monterey Bay.

The sculpture house sits on a street near Monterey Bay. (Google)

Williams is selling the place because she has less time to spend there. "What I will miss most is hearing the waves crashing on the beach," she adds.

The home's curved walls and rounded ceilings make the space seem larger than its modest square footage suggests. The main level features floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors. Upstairs, the master suite also has outdoor access, along with portholes with views of Monterey Bay.

The exterior space includes lounge areas, pathways, and colorful and exotic plants. The 5,000-square-foot lot offers space to build a second unit, notes the agent, perhaps a small guesthouse.

The design of this dome home is similar to the “Flintstone House,” a local landmark in the San Francisco Bay Area, which was built around the same time.

The home is one block from the La Selva Beach bluff, and in walking distance to Manresa beach. The furnishings are included in the sale, and the property may be listed on Airbnb or kept as a long-term vacation rental. Either way, this livable work of art paints a lovely picture.

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