This Northern California residence is located in a canyon of oak-studded grassland, chaparral and remnant olive groves. The design for the clients, whose hobbies include hiking and horseback riding, was not so much an attempt at recreating a native landscape as it was to create an idealized and enhanced version of the regional landscape that would tie the house to the site. A series of integrally-colored concrete paths, flush hardwood decking and a walk-across water feature extend the interior rooms out to the landscape. The new plantings are dominated by various grass species that reflect the adjacent non-native grassland, but in an easier-to-maintain and more idealized form. Like the visual poetry of a Terrance Malick film, the view of the flowing grass plumes and distant hills through many of the large glass windows provides a calming sense of place and connection to the land.
2013 ASLA-NCC Merit Award
Architecture by Swatt Miers Architects