Rancho Canyon Residence

The design of the Rancho Canyon Residence evolved as a response to the site. Fire resistive materials were selected, including integral color plaster, metal roofing, and dual glazed aluminum sliding doors and windows. Eliminating overhangs, a common starting point for fires, enhanced the clean geometric shapes. Exterior plaster was used on both the interior and exterior of the 10-inch thick exterior walls. The 800 square foot Rancho Canyon Residence is comprised of a series of sheds that reference the surrounding vernacular architecture. The floor plan of the main living space is a square with two shed roofs oriented perpendicular to one other, opening up to the steep hillsides beyond. The resulting valley collects rainwater and drains into a stone birdbath by means of a salvaged anchor chain. A maple “box” is pushed into the corner of the larger plaster volume and houses a series of storage cubicles. The inside of the “box” contains the bathroom and closet. On top is a small study loft with a couple of beds. Radiant concrete floors provide warmth, augmented by a wood-burning corner fireplace. Rugged concrete counters were poured in place for the kitchen, outside barbecue, and desk. The detached garage is a simple shed facing due South, and completes an outside dining terrace between the two structures. It also separates the noise-generating utilities and houses the photoelectric solar panels. The surrounding landscaping was left untouched except for the planting of several indigenous coastal oaks. Thick adobe pavers add an earthy, rustic feel to the contemporary structure.

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