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An Architectural California House Has a ‘Floating’ Ceiling and Solar-Charged Heated Flooring

A cavernous, steel-and-glass architectural home about an hour south of San Francisco has hit the market for $7.89 million.

Silicon Valley strategic adviser and former National Semiconductor executive Michael Polacek and his wife, Ana, are selling the six-bedroom contemporary coastal retreat, which is located on 18 acres in Pescadero, California. 

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The Polaceks purchased the nearly 18 acres of ocean-view acreage in 2001 for $750,000, according to Jeff Chen, who listed the property a week ago. They spent the next eight years building the architectural residence and then raised their two children there.

“Ana and I fell in love with the vacant property the first time we drove up and knew immediately that we were going to build our family home here,” Polacek said in an emailed statement. “We saw many options with acreage in the woods and near the ocean. So many sites had too much verticality to be useful, and being right up on the water was a bit frightening for us. These 18 acres are mostly flat and gently sloping toward the ocean.”

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The 6,095-square-foot home showcases unobstructed water views over expansive lawns, framed by soaring, 23-foot-tall steel-framed glass walls on the ocean-facing side, according to the listing and images of the home. 

Reached by a gated driveway, the U-shaped residence comprises a central tower and connected buildings of descending height—all with curved standing seam metal roofs that Polacek described as “overlapping ‘waves’” that fit within the surrounding environment. 

The home’s design drew on a host of architectural icons, according to Chen.

“Influenced by the innovative visions of Frank Lloyd Wright, I.M. Pei, Tadao Ando and Frank Gehry, the home embodies a collaborative effort and profound respect for the environment,” Chen said. “The undulating roofline, reminiscent of Gehry’s iconic curves, complements Ando’s minimalist geometric forms, creating a visually captivating and functional design that integrates seamlessly with the natural surroundings.”  

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Stepping stones lead from the attached two-car garage—and its mudroom and adjoining pantry—across the courtyard to the massive wood-and-glass main entrance and foyer, according to the listing. From there, a two-story glass-enclosed solarium features a swim-through indoor saltwater pool. Disappearing Fleetwood doors on two sides open onto the rear patio and the great room, featuring a barrel-vaulted ceiling with exposed steel trusses that support a suspended loft (sans columns), banquette window seating, and a fireplace. The adjacent dining area, set beneath the loft, has double sliding-glass doors that open onto the terrace.

Polacek said the center atrium was designed to act as a “heat battery,” harnessing the sun’s energy to effectively charge the polished concrete radiant-heat floor throughout the home—even long after the sun has set.

“And we designed the clerestory windows surrounding most of the house to give the feeling that the sky-colored ceiling is floating above the house as you look up and out,” he said. 

Overlooking the great room and nestled under an open walkway, the chef’s kitchen includes a large breakfast island topped with poured concrete, honed soapstone countertops, custom wood under cabinets, and high-end appliances. 

On the opposite end of the house, the ocean-view primary wing, reached by a covered Japanese-inspired breezeway, includes a fireplace, a walk-in closet and a private covered patio. 

The main upstairs loft, reached by a curved wood staircase from the great room, offers double sliding glass doors to an ocean-view balcony plus a separate outdoor terrace with lounge seating, a fireplace, and a custom fire pit.

A 355-square-foot workshop with three roll-up doors is adjacent to the garage, and a 3,500-square-foot barn lies at the far end of a dirt path in the corner of the triangular property. According to the listing, the two-story structure serves as machinery storage on the lower level and a recreational space upstairs.

The fully fenced, mostly level property, zoned for agricultural use, also contains an apple, pear, and berry orchard, a chicken coop and a greenhouse. There’s also an onsite well with 14 acres of water rights. 

Surrounded by farmland, the home is a quick bike (or car) ride to Pescadero’s town and beach, boasting a mile-long shoreline dotted with sandy coves, rocky cliffs and tide pools. It is also about an hour’s drive from San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Stanford.

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