Sheltered in heavy steel and timber outside, cedar and rock inside, this family mountain retreat near Lake Tahoe, California, has a 270-degree perspective of its environment, making it the perfect place where to watch storms brewing in the distance. The house’s hardy exterior is adorned with curvy midcentury bits and whimsical touches, all clues that an active and youthful family lives within its own walls.
Architect Paul Warner made the house with important consideration of its natural setting, and great care was taken to preserve the trees on the nearly half-acre property. Section of this house was prefabricated at a factory at Utah and shipped and craned on the base, while the dining area and great room were built onsite, making the house what Warner calls for a prefab hybridvehicle. The prefab construction process enabled the construction time to be cut in half, important from the Lake Tahoe region, where climate plays a huge part in a home’s construction costs and schedule.
in a Glance
A second house for: A French baker and his household
Location: Martis Valley, Truckee, California
Size: 3,250 square feet
That is intriguing: Only 3 trees had to be eliminated to accommodate the house; at least 20 others on the property were maintained.
The house is surrounded by a forest of ponderosa pines and white firs. Cedar, heavy wood and native rock enable the structure to check at home in the forest.
A heavy wood roof gathering and hot-rolled steel framing decrease the prospect of ice damming at winter; they also lower the cooling load in summer time. The outside materials were picked to protect the house in the harsh climate. The house is in a fire zone, so the exteriors are fire resistant, with heavy steel and timber overhangs, tempered glass in all the windows and vents that keep sparks and embers from entering the house.
An observation deck away from the attic facing south supplies a 270-degree perspective of the hills and is a wonderful place to observe the stars out of, ” says Warner.
Another vantage point from which to watch the stars would be the great room, swathed in unadorned glass walls and windows to permit the outside to combine with the insides. The fireplace, created fully of rock, retains heat from sunlight and southern sun throughout winter; additionally, it grounds the great room with its absolute size.
“The house has a lot of windows to bring in natural light, but [the windows] also act as great portals to view the strong winter storms,” says Warner.
Dining table: Cross Extension Table, Design Within Reach; upholstered dining chairs: Ligne Roset; chandelier: Candelaria by Robert Abbey, Lumens
A baby-blue Womb Chair occupies a lot of a corner space in the wonderful room, making it the perfect studying and storm-watching nook. Sliding glass doors that disappear behind the media cupboard open up an whole corner of the wonderful room on the patio.
The tv echoes the rectangular framework of the fireplace and blends in with the remainder of the space.
Sofa: Dune Sectional, Poliform; Saarinen Womb Chair: Knoll
Interior materials like cedar and slate converge within this image. The contrast between the slick slate floor and the cedar ceiling is just stunning.
Fireplace surround: Falls Creek Ledgestone; tile flooring: Molten Palace, American Slate; ceiling: T&G clear cedar
The tractor-seat bar stools toss the angular kitchen a couple curves. The stools’ walnut finish creates a great layering material to the cedar ceiling and wood cabinetry; the stools also offer each member of the family a chair round the island table. “The gourmet kitchen permits the family to gather around the large island while the baker prepares fresh bread and pastries,” Warner says.
Backsplash: Steel Silk, Walker Zanger; stools: Tractor bar stools in walnut, Design Within Reach; light pendants: Meridian Pendant Lamp, Sundance
This bedroom makes a warm and airy resting place for family and friends that are searching for somewhere to rest after a day of hiking, skiing and biking.
Manana floor lighting: Design House Stockholm; bed: Atlantico, De la Espada; flooring: Olde Dutch in Western white walnut, Du Chateau Floors
Though summer temperatures average in the 80s, the house doesn’t have air conditioning. On the contrary, it has a heat-recovery venting system (vents pictured here) made to draw in night air to help cool the house.
A large mudroom works hard for the family, with storage for winter boots, hats, gloves and coats on either side of the entrance.
Part bath, a part sculpture, this oval freestanding bathtub contrasts the blue and gray tones of this limestone wall and floor tiles.
Tub: Blu Bathworks; wall tiles: chenille limestone, Daltile; shower floor tiles: lagos blue, Daltile
The house is peppered with big midcentury furnishings, but the interesting pieces come in smaller dimensions: a more whimsical and delicate pair of Scandinavian Vedel bird toys…
… and a family of wooden kokeshi dolls.
Fondly referred to as the bunk room by Warner’s customers, the kids’ area is made a personal place for play and rest with sliding barn doors that look and feel at home in this mountain retreat.
This stunning nighttime photo shows the house’s different levels; it also highlights the way the structure uses the natural grade of the landscape to”step up the house,” Warner says. The lower-level rooms (mudroom, garage and storage) were buried to the grade so the upper level would be in grade and permit a better connection between the indoor and outdoor surroundings.