Tiny but Terrific in 'Paradise'

Award-winning Sea Ranch condo boasts incomparable design, oceanfront views
Fridays on the Homefront
Now for sale—one of ten homes in an award-winning Sea Ranch condo complex built in 1965. It boasts an exceptional view down the coastline through huge, south-facing windows. "It's small…but it's a spectacular house," says listing agent Jeff Ortman. All photos: David Mater and Cyndy Solomon

Tiny houses are all the rage, they say—and it's no wonder with California real estate prices so high.

What's better than a tiny house though?

How about an almost-tiny home in the coastal paradise of The Sea Ranch—with maintenance services and high-speed Internet to go with your migrating whales?

"It's small…[but] it's a spectacular house," declares realtor Jeff Ortman about his new listing, overstating slightly but only technically. The design and environment of 114 Sea Walk Drive are indeed a spectacle, but the property is actually an incomparable condominium, not a single-family house.

Fridays on the Homefront

Specifically, Ortman listed Unit 3 at that address in The Sea Ranch recently for a relatively modest (for Norcal modern) $1,299,000. One of ten homes in an award-winning complex built in 1965, it boasts an exceptional, inviolable view down the Sonoma and Marin coasts through huge, south-facing windows.

"Obviously, when you walk in, the views are jaw-dropping," notes Ortman, a Sea Ranch resident and realtor for close to two decades. He acknowledged the small space of 871 square feet of one bed, one bath with an admiring, "It's just very nicely laid out!"

The redwood-sided complex was designed by the signature architects of The Sea Ranch, the MLTW consortium of Charles Moore, Donlyn Lyndon, William Turnbull Jr., and Richard Whitaker. It is a design whose award recognition by the American Institute of Architects is celebrated by a plaque at its entrance.

Fridays on the Homefront

Mapped out in the early ‘60s, the onetime sheep ranch has endured many plan changes since, including design and density guidelines and more public access to trails and coastline after the late ‘70s. Through it all, the design efficiency of 114 Sea Walk, near the south end of its 10,300 acres, has provided innumerable serene moments to its ten households.

"The whole concept of Sea Ranch was to live lightly on the land," Ortman noted, evoking parallels to aspects of the tiny house craze. Marketing one of Sea Ranch's oldest homes, he said solemnly, "It's the epitome of early Sea Ranch architecture."

Fridays on the Homefront

Veteran architecture critic Dave Weinstein, also a CA-Modern magazine editor, enthusiastically agreed, stating, "The condos helped put Sea Ranch on the map. They are much closer to the water than almost any other houses there; you really get a feeling from inside them of being over the waves, though you are not."