Mendocino County House (10)

Mendocino County House

Mendocino County House

As I work, I enjoy distilling a design down to the essential pieces — often starting big and messy and then gradually, in an iterative manner, working towards the simplest design solution that, once “there,” touches an essential part of each of us.

Designed as a quiet retreat for two readers, one of whom wanted the house to feel like an outdoor porch, this 840 SF cottage inhabits a steeply sloped lot adjacent to wooded watersheds. A semi-circular concrete planter/retaining wall frames the front terrace and with a landscaped berm diverts the significant seasonal rainwater around the house into the woods below. The house is sited to preserve open views into the woods and privacy to and from the adjacent houses. The living level — a few steps above grade at the front entry — sits a full story above a storage/mechanical space at the back. Each interior space repeats a common spatial theme — an expressed single-sloped ceiling plane over largely window-filled walls. The feeling is that of being in a tree house.

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