The Goat Sheds is a family ranch compound located at the base of a wooded hillside with long views down two valleys to the South and East.
The house serves as a gallery to display the wife's large collection of American Indian artifacts as well as the husband's extensive collection of model trains. Each of the main functions -- living, sleeping, working, train room, garage -- are designed as individual, clerestoried sheds that are dispersed among the existing trees in such a way that no trees had to be cut down. The "sheds" are connected by low service spaces.
The husband once worked on the ranch as a young adult when it was owned by his future wife's family. During that time it was being transformed from a goat ranch to a cattle ranch. His future wife's father wanted to determine if this young man was a hard worker and worthy of his daughter, so he gave the suitor the job of dismantling all the old goat sheds that were scattered over hundreds of acres. He did, the father approved, and they were married. They affectionately call the new house the Goat Sheds.
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The porte cochère is the main entry to the house. A mahogany-and-glass pivot door allows you to see through the Great Room to the back porch and the valley beyond.
Dragons at the main entrance. Dragons are the symbol for strength and good luck. They symbolically protect the house.
A 24'-wide sliding glass wall in the Great Room opens onto a 14'-deep covered porch. The dining set is a one-off from the 1940's.
The master bedroom is strategically located to have views down two valleys. The roof is extended to create a wrap-around porch.
Carport/garage shed (right) and Train shed. The Train shed accommodates the owner's extensive model train collection and a large diorama through which the trains travel. Notice how by placing the sheds at different angles we created side entries between the stone walls into each shed area.
Guest bedrooms shed. The house was laid out between existing trees, and some trees are so close to the house that some roof overhangs had to be notched to accommodate the wonderfully wandering limbs.
The kitchen has some of the best views in the house. The sink counter protrudes into the rear porch, with windows on three sides. The owner's refer to it as the "bridge of the ship."
The kitchen was designed to be as sleek and minimalist as possible, yet remain "warm" to the eye. Unlike a range, a cooktop and oven do not disrupt the line of the countertop. The range hood is mostly hidden and only shows a thin horizontal line tucked within the line of the cabinets. It pulls out when in use, and slips back into line with the cabinets when not.
The built-in cabinetry showcases some of the owner's extensive Native American collection and wraps around the corner as a paneled wall with hidden doors that lead to a half bath and a small office. Stained concrete floors.
A small greenhouse is attached to the garage. The vintage barn wood on the back wall was salvaged from an old barn on the ranch that had fallen down decades ago.
The exterior of the greenhouse is translucent plastic polygal panels screwed to the cedar structure. A thermostat turns on the exhaust fan if it gets too hot during the summer.
The Master Bedroom shed is surrounded by a covered cedar porch. Two 12' walls of sliding glass converge at a corner to visually and physically connect the room to the outdoors. The roof overhangs and porches offer exposed wood rafters and beams. The cedar rafters, beams, and posts as well as the stone walls complement and "warm up" the corrugated metal siding.
This is the covered porch off the guest bedrooms. Simple, exposed wood rafters, beams, and columns.
Rear view showing the porches off the guest bedrooms. No trees were removed to build the house.
All the sheds, including the garage, have clerestory windows. The carport and garage can be emptied of cars and used as a large, covered space for outdoor parties.
This is the view from the back porch of the Great Room. With a 14'-depth it becomes an outdoor room for eating, bird watching, and wondering.
- Cody Doyle