House as Abalone Shell

Located in Monterey, the Bishop Ranch House was designed by Frederick Liebhardt in 1962 for the Bishop family who owned the land of what is now the Club at Pasadera – a Jack Nicklaus Golf Course. The house site is spectacularly situated, overlooking oak studded coastal hills in the foreground and the Gabilan Mountain Range to the east. Arranged around a ‘lazy-L’ swimming pool, 5 structures of differing functions are connected via breezeways. All have extensive glass embedding them in endless varieties of views of the always changing landscape. The house is 3,200 s.f. on almost 2 acres.

Our brief? Keep the resort-like original concept and structure. Modernize and open up the interiors – make the inside sleek, to sharply contrast with the more rustic, original exterior of board on board siding – house as abalone shell. And bring the mid-century home up to 21st century standards: solar panels, dual glazing, energy-efficient roofing and insulation, high-efficiency fixtures and fittings and less thirsty landscaping. Important to us as architects was guarding against bird impacts, inevitable with the extensive glass. You’ll notice the pictures show small dots on the windows to prevent collisions.

Architect Frederick Liebhardt (1924-1999) was a favored student of Frank Lloyd Wright. His early career centered around residential and school projects and many of his homes were recognized by the AIA. In later years his projects grew in size and he worked for clients such as the University of California (7 buildings at UCSD), US Navy, San Diego Zoological Society (San Diego Wild Animal Park), the National Zoo in Washington DC, other zoos in Europe and the Far East.

He worked for theater groups such as the Old Globe in San Diego and did live action stage shows for Universal Studios.  All the while he always liked to have at least one residential project on the boards. We want to honor Mr. Liebhardt’s work with our renovation of one of his classic, less known works, in deep appreciation of his fine abilities.

Architect: Heather Johnston Architect
Builder: Brad Stenvick Construction, LLC
Engineer: AR2 Structural Engineering
Landscaping: HJA
Photography: Brady Architectural Photography