This Stunning Home Hugs the Contours of an Oak-Covered Hill

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
An L-shaped abode in Monterey County, California, invites in sweeping valley views.

Set among the old-growth oaks and rolling hills of the Santa Lucia Preserve in Northern California's Carmel Valley, this stunning, L-shaped residence by San Francisco–based architecture firm Sagan Piechota takes its shape from the contours of the land.

The program is split between two structures connected by an enclosed, second-story bridge. The separation of the main living spaces from the master and guest suites opens up the floor plan, allowing a strong connection to the outdoors.

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The home’s program is split between two structures, each completing one arm of the L shape, and connected by an enclosed, second-story bridge.  

The home’s program is split between two structures, each completing one arm of the L shape, and connected by an enclosed, second-story bridge.  

The entrance to the home follows a compressed stair sequence that travels under the bridge. On one side, the path is bounded by the close growth of the oak grove, and the other opens to a sunny courtyard.

The entrance to the home follows a compressed stair sequence that travels under the bridge. On one side, the path is bounded by the close growth of the oak grove, and the other opens to a sunny courtyard.

The interplay of light and shadow draws you into the home. 

The interplay of light and shadow draws you into the home. 

There is a strong sense of the outdoors throughout the home, starting immediately from the entry. 

There is a strong sense of the outdoors throughout the home, starting immediately from the entry. 

The split program separates the main living spaces from the master and guest suites, allowing the outdoors to flow more easily into the home.

The split program separates the main living spaces from the master and guest suites, allowing the outdoors to flow more easily into the home.

The house hugs the perimeter of the forest.

The house hugs the perimeter of the forest.

The negative space is defined by key vistas.

The negative space is defined by key vistas.

The interior courtyard of the home faces northeast, looking out over the rolling hills.

The interior courtyard of the home faces northeast, looking out over the rolling hills.

The material palette of concrete, weathered steel, and natural cedar mimics the colors and textures of the hills. 

The material palette of concrete, weathered steel, and natural cedar mimics the colors and textures of the hills. 

The courtyard seamlessly integrates the indoor and outdoor space.

The courtyard seamlessly integrates the indoor and outdoor space.

This Stunning Home Hugs the Contours of an Oak-Covered Hill - Photo 11 of 15 -
Floor-to-ceiling glass was custom-produced by Fleetwood to allow for various vistas throughout the home—capturing the hills, wildlife, and valley views. 

Floor-to-ceiling glass was custom-produced by Fleetwood to allow for various vistas throughout the home—capturing the hills, wildlife, and valley views. 

A solar roof, high-efficiency plumbing, LED lighting, and operable window coverings ensure that the home is seamlessly integrated into its environment.

A solar roof, high-efficiency plumbing, LED lighting, and operable window coverings ensure that the home is seamlessly integrated into its environment.

Framing the views required a careful negotiation of the balance between the oak cluster and clearing. 

Framing the views required a careful negotiation of the balance between the oak cluster and clearing. 

The home, like the surrounding clusters of oaks, simultaneously shelters and defines the clearings. 

The home, like the surrounding clusters of oaks, simultaneously shelters and defines the clearings. 

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Sagan Piechota Architecture
Builder/General Contractor: Stocker & Allaire General Contractors, David Stocker
Structural Engineer: Strandberg Engineering, David Strandberg
Civil Engineer: Benjamini Associates Inc., Avi Benjamini
Landscape Design Company: Bernard Trainor & Associates, Bernard Trainor
Lighting Design: Revolver Design, Michael Webb
Interior Design: Schippmann Interior Design, Susan Schippmann
Title-24 Company Contact: Monterey Energy Group, David Knight
Surveyor: Central Coast Surveyors, Dave Edson
Arborist: Maureen Hamb
Geotechnical Engineer: Soil Surveys Inc, Richard Dante