What happens when you combine the design excellence of New York–based architect Steven Harris with the artistic eye of the late Grammy Award–winning producer Luigi Creatore? The result is a cliffside estate called Casa Finisterra, which is perched on the edge of the Baja Peninsula near a host of other exclusive beachside properties and resorts. Located in Cabo San Lucas where the arid desert meets the Pacific Ocean, the residence was commissioned by Luigi and his wife, Claire. Harris notes that the artistic couple was deeply involved in the design process of the home, ensuring that everything from the hardware to the water features were up to par.
Equipped with five bedrooms and seven full baths, the U-shaped property is built into the surrounding limestone rocks and is virtually unseen from the road above. Two large wings are separated by an outdoor pavilion with native, drought-resistant plants, and floor-to-ceiling glass windows lend ocean views in each room of the house. The master suite, media room, and gym occupy the east wing, and a large living room, dining room, and kitchen make up the west wing. At the center of the home, an outdoor living room juts out over the ocean near a 50-foot cliffside swimming pool.
“At a property such as this, your job is to frame the view, stay out of the way, and let what is really important come forward,” Harris says. “The balancing act between colors and design was created so as not to snag at your eye when looking outward, letting you experience tranquility above all else.” Referring to the house as the frame, not the picture, Harris placed glass into each bedroom and public space so that the turquoise water and rugged bluffs could take center stage.
Designed to withstand inclement winter weather conditions and some of the worst hurricanes in modern history, the home is made with laminated hurricane-resistant glass skylights, windows, and walls. The stairwell’s exposed rock face (which goes to all four levels) perfectly blends in with the home’s surroundings.
Golden light is cast into the bedrooms from glass rods built into the concrete walls, an inspiration from Harris’s travels. “There was a funny little hotel built on an island off the coast of Dubrovnik in 1937 which had these little glass rods in the wall. They reminded me of a telescope. Looking through them led you to the outside world,” Harris says.
A certain warmth and culture is crafted inside thanks to hand-chosen furnishings like the Steinway grand piano; a chandelier made from Venetian links of glass that hangs above the dining room table, which looks out over the promontory; and a 1950s cork coffee table, accented by vintage lounge chairs. Artistic measures were taken in the living room, where a hipped roof features slender clerestories that let the setting sun soak the interior space for about 30 minutes each day.
“Every custom house is to some level a collaboration; it involves a certain team with the right site,” Harris says. “This home in particular was created from the perfect storm. We had a team of people, including interior designers and landscape artists, that we worked with from the very beginning in order to create a once-in-a-lifetime estate.”
Luigi, who wrote for Elvis Presley and Sam Cooke, wasn’t the only one who appreciated the ocean-facing homestead. Brad Pitt stayed in the home while filming Troy and even had a separate gym built on the property to train for his iconic role.
Casa Finisterra is listed by Jeff Kohl and Billy Rose with the Agency for $10 million.