This guest house is the first of three structures to be built alongside a winding lane atop a ridge in the Santa Lucia Preserve, positioned five miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. The vast rolling topography is filled with sea breezes, warm sun, panoramic views of the Santa Lucia Mountains, and a forest of ancient live oaks and madrones.
Once part of a historic cattle ranch, the site will be marked by a procession of three stone chimneys. The second of these chimneys currently rises from a long wall that borders the guest house and its swimming pool, and much like an ancient barrier or urban boundary, serves to establish a personal enclosure. The wall’s tapering edge suggests a long history, yet the architecture is distinctly modern. Here a simple, timber-framed shed springs from the stone wall, supporting naturally weathered zinc roofing over cedar-clad volumes.
The guest house takes advantage of passive design opportunities in its temperate climate. Expansive windows provide natural lighting throughout, while a broad overhang shades interiors from the summer sun. Sliding doors and operable windows use the prevailing winds for natural ventilation, as well as expansive views of the surrounding mountain range. Wood flooring in the living spaces is reclaimed from an old barn structure.
As visitors arrive to the property, they will pass the first chimney marker at the barn, proceed past the existing guest house, and end at a drive culminating in a stone-enclosed courtyard marked by yet another chimney and the primary house for the family, now in design.
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