An energy-efficient home mines inspiration from a gold rush town in the California foothills.
A Seattle family tasked Atmosphere Design Build with creating a sustainable dwelling in Nevada City, California, the matriarch's hometown and a historic mining community. The firm's material-driven approach channels the pioneer spirit of the gold rush, without compromising comfort or high-efficiency standards.
Covered terraces take advantage of the temperate Northern California climate and respect the local vernacular. A rear sleeping porch is the perfect place to enjoy warm summer and fall nights.
Rural and urban sensibilities mix indoors. The double-height living room nods to the loft-like spaces the family was accustomed to in Seattle; rough-hewn wood boards appeal to their "wabi sabi" taste in design.
A cozy reading nook fits underneath the stairs, saving floor space in the 1690-square-foot home.
Although it mimics the appearance of rickety mining shanties, the home is airtight. Triple-glazed windows and highly insulated walls contribute to its overall net-zero status.
Most impressive of all, a solar array on the roof empowers the residents to produce more energy than they consume on-site.