Set into the hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Big Sur, California, this retreat, seamlessly integrated into the landscape,was designed by Carver & Schicketanz Architects.
Built as a vacation home, the key elements were to build as least disruptively to the landscape as possible and minimise visibility of and from distant neighbors.
In the words of the architects, "We wanted the home to blend with the land, and give the clients a perfect retreat. We accomplished this by cutting a wedge into the gentle hillside and using this space to accommodate multiple functions (garage, laundry, powder room, pantry, mechanical room) underground. As a result the native meadow rolls onto the northern part of the house and ties the building to the landscape. Therefore the house is barely visible to the uphill neighbors."
Sustainable features include hydrotech roofing system planted with native grasses for insulation and minimising aesthetic impact on environment, thermal mass from limestone flooring, rainwater harvesting and cross-ventilation.