A Central Courtyard at This Sierra Nevada Retreat Evokes the Feel of a Campsite

Faulkner Architects
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The concrete-and-steel home by Faulkner Architects gives one family a refined escape in the mountains of Northern California.

Project Details:

Location: Lake Tahoe, California

Architect: Faulkner Architects / @faulknerarchitects

Interior Designer: NICOLEHOLLIS / @nicolehollissf

Builder: Jim Morrison Construction / @jimmorrisonconstruction

Structural Engineer: CFBR Structural Group

Civil Engineer: Shaw Engineering

MEP: Sugarpine Engineering

Surveyor: Webb Land Surveying, Inc.

Title 24: Monterey Energy Group

Photography: Joe Fletcher / @joefletcherphoto

From the Architect: "A San Francisco family asked us to help them expand an existing property near Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The site sits on a north facing slope and looks down to the Martis Valley and up to Lookout Mountain through a natural screen of 100-year-old Jeffrey pine trees.

"Dug into the slope, the home wraps a courtyard that offers privacy from neighbors. The bedrooms open to the courtyard and the family gathering space is a concrete pavilion that connects the courtyard to the distant view beyond. A thin steel shed roof pitches up to open the interior to the south sun and frame views to the ski runs on the mountain. Double-thick eight-inch concrete walls fitted with foam insulation extend up to the roof on the low side. Clerestory windows enclose the triangular space between the roof and concrete walls.

"The materiality of concrete and steel-sash tempered windows form a fire-resistant barrier and secure a native cedar-clad interior. Basalt floors were chosen to echo the surrounding landscape, which is punctuated by basalt boulders. Blackened steel casework responds to the exposed steel, while glazed access around the courtyard connects the bedrooms and main pavilion to the courtyard and fire, much like a campsite. Furnishings share the same materiality and tonal qualities as the architecture, creating a quiet presence that allows the glowing landscape to resonate."

A Central Courtyard at This Sierra Nevada Retreat Evokes the Feel of a Campsite