The clients desired to create a fun-filled, cozy and informal cabin for family and friends to enjoy for years to come; integrating their love of outdoor life and sport into the architecture and furnishings of the home while maximizing the Indoor-Outdoor relation between the living spaces and their surrounds.

Sited on an extremely steep mountain side combined with one of the highest snow loads in the Sierras the new home required sensitive design integration of high strength building structure while retaining maximum openness to the views and terrain.
This home, while simple in its overall design, blends seamlessly with its surroundings, filled with whimsical details that make it unique and very personal for this family.

The homeowners are sports enthusiasts and the whole home has been embued with sport references and features. The light filled Entry Foyer features a sculptural light fixture created with ski-poles each donated by family friends as a symbol of the collegial spirit of the cabin while the entire back wall is an oversized closet filled with extra ski equipment guests can help themselves to when visiting.

A very well-known extreme skier, friend of the family, has been memorialized in a wall length image ‘skiing down the stairs’. The concrete bridge BBQ patio off the kitchen doubles as a gateway for the start of sled runs and will soon host a reclaimed chair-lift as a swing hanging below it.

The tall window over the kitchen sink brings in natural light framing the Entry view of the house while the rest of the living space is wrapped by floor-to-ceiling windows completely opening up the corner transforming it into an ‘indoor-outdoor flowing space without a hard-to-maintain deck requiring snow-shoveling.

The oversize Tahoe map wallpaper continues over the bar countertop made from a custom made surfboard with Lake Tahoe ‘spilling over the countertop’ recalling the homeowner’s love of surfing as well as skiing. Piton hooks for carabiners were integrally installed in the downstairs patio edge to enable rope rappelling directly from the house edge to the nearby stone outcropping and creek!

The kids' bunk beds and play-space nestled under the stair are reachable only by mountain climbing footholds. The stairwall in the main kids/guests family space below is painted with chalkboard paint becoming a huge art canvas as well as the home ‘guest book’ all visitors sign when they stay overnight.Seamless corner oversize bedroom windows envelope the entire lower bedroom giving a feeling of waking up in the middle of the forest.

The wood used for the cabinetry was passed through a steel comb roller on a belt planer to give it a rough sawn texture expressing the wood grain reminiscent of old Truckee. The floor is wood recycled from torn down structures, exuding a warmer mountain-cabin texture.

The industrial looking metal dining table on wheels reflects the outdoor light brightening the space and enhancing the informal feel of a fun home. The accompanying chairs and ‘sitting cubes’ are made from recycled fire hoses from the local Tahoe Fire Department !

All the features above combined with this home ‘s rare blend of modern design with warm, sustainable materials and people-friendly proportion make for a unique building recalling the spirit of old California while moving towards a modern architecture that reinterprets this spirit with Today’s eyes and heart.

The clients wanted to have a home that could be dividable vertically so that it could either serve as a ‘one story one bedroom’ home for them as a couple or as a full 2-story family home with their kids and their future families living on the lower floor connected by a central lower floor family gathering area.

The garage “box” was situated at an angle so that one could arrive at the entry without viewing cars or via the garage door entry on a very gentle slope with no snow slippage issues entering directly into the garage and then directly into the mudroom and on to the kitchen with minimal effort and no stairs at the end of a long ski day.

Water flow sound of the adjacent Bear Creek is heard from all rooms of the home at all times of the year weaving the spirit of the mountains throughout the interior

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Entry view with small concrete patio for bbq

Exterior View

Exterior View

Side View

Exterior intersection of the house and garage

Entry with Ski-Friendship light sculpture

Kitchen/Dining Room

Kitchen and Family Room

Family Room

Skier down the stairwell

Den with indoor/outdoor patio and Tahoe map

Bunk Beds with chalk-board wall


Library / Guest Bedroom

  • Studio Bergtraun
  • Gregg Gibboney
  • Cinematic Digital Media
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Year
  • 2016