Thursday, September 3, 2009

Big Sur visit with Daniel Fletcher at Wild Bird

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Daniel Fletcher & C. Clay Chapman pictured at one of several Wild Bird terraces.

Many Thanks to Daniel Fletcher of Fletcher & Hardoin Architects for a personal tour and short lecture at Wild Bird. Behind us here, and 800 ft below, is the Pacific Ocean. After visiting Wild Bird and Big Sur I concluded that this must be one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Fletcher giving a history of the Wild Bird project

Out of respect for the owners privacy, only a few interior images will be shown.

Fletcher & Chapman

The 2800 square ft dwelling took 7 years to complete. There were obviously many logistical issues involved with building on an 800 ft precipice. One of the multiple challenges Daniel faced was building in such a way as to compliment a landscape that seemed somewhat beyond complimenting. His minimalist design distills beauty and necessity to their lowest denominators; in so doing, he makes a significant architectural statement while protecting the natural architecture afforded by the western edge of the continent. For anyone interested in spending time at Wild Bird you can have the place to yourself for $15,000.00 a night. Email me for the contact info.

Chapman at Wild Bird — Note California Condor perched on Red Wood branch in back ground

Several Condors were roosted in the low lying limbs of nearby trees. These are the largest flying birds in the world with wing spans up to 3 meters. An endangered species program implemented in the 1980's saved the creatures from certain extinction. Many professional and amateur ornithologist come to the area with hopes of getting a distant glimpse of the birds, and here we were looking at a gathering of them 15 or 20 ft away. I had forgotten my camera, but Emile had his iPhone fortunately.

Whale vertebra carving

The entire scene at Wild Bird seemed a bit Jurassic. The Pacific's horizon was cut short by a wall of mid day mist and fog that seemed to convey the end of the world only a few miles out. Sea lions and Seals barked without tire hundreds of feet below. Close to shore, small groups of Porpoises could be observed podding along just below the surface, and in the air you could hear the wind passing through the massive primaries of California condors.