"They wanted to construct a house that was deeply ecologically site-specific, energy-efficient, and had a strong design identity," said Faulkner Architects, a studio based in Truckee, California. To inform the design, the team drew from a "dense observation of the landscape, climate, culture, and existing uses and patterns of the site". The footprint of the new residence was influenced by an ageing house that once stood on the property. The team retained a large fireplace from the old dwelling, which was wrapped in concrete and serves as a major structural element and visual anchor.
The hillside was left open and natural. The home is shaded by mature oak trees, which were integral to the design.
"Those big trees felt like refuge before we even built anything," said architect Greg Faulkner. "They're a free material that became part of the house."
The home is entered from the north, where a covered walkway leads to the front door. Inside, one finds light-filled rooms with high ceilings and views of the landscape.
Providing a strong connection to the outdoors was a guiding concern for the architect. In the main living area, a 12-foot-wide (3.6-metre) retractable glass wall opens onto a patio and garden.
The home recently won a design award from the California chapter of the AIA. Other winners included the Alamo Square Residence by Jensen Architects, which involved updating a historic Victorian residence in San Francisco.
Photography is by Joe Fletcher Photography.