Skip to main content

Crafting a Community: 20 Years of Partnership with the Santa Lucia Preserve

"By the time Feldman Architecture finishes a new dwelling, it belongs here, unquestionably.”

The Santa Lucia Preserve is a private community nestled in the coastal hills between Carmel and Big Sur that spans 20,000 acres, 18,000 of which are protected in perpetuity by the Santa Lucia Conservancy, a nonprofit land trust that works to advocate for the ecological integrity of the protected lands. The remaining 10% of the land is set aside for infrastructure, community amenities, and 297 homesites. The Santa Lucia Conservancy is financially and philosophically sustained by the limited residential community of The Preserve, which occupies the less environmentally sensitive areas.

In 2004, Feldman Architecture designed our first home in The Preserve, kicking off a long-term relationship with the community, and introducing a precedent and appreciation for contemporary and sustainable design - with numerous homes completed and 5 more currently in design or under construction. Our work in The Santa Lucia Preserve demonstrates our studio’s ability to introduce a modern, site-sensitive design ethos to a forward-looking residential development, while influencing and shaping its design guidelines and progression.

House Ocho, the first Feldman Architecture project, set the tone for our work in The Preserve with a series of environmentally responsive structures, earning an AIASF Sustainability Award, as well as a Green Roof Design Award. With subsequent projects like the rammed-earth Caterpillar House, the first LEED Platinum Custom Home on California’s Central Coast; the water-harvesting Butterfly House, which graced the cover of Dwell Magazine; to Curveball, a NetZero, regenerative dwelling currently under construction; we've deeply enjoyed providing innovative and progressive design solutions to this forward-thinking community. To see more, click on the Communities tag.

We’re excited to continue to pursue work in new residential developments focused on creating responsible communities. Additionally, as our work takes us beyond California, we’ve adapted our skills to respond to varied local landscapes, micro-climates, and design sensibilities, all while staying true to our core principles of responsive, regenerative design and stewardship of the land. Today, we’re looking towards regions like the Intermountain West, where we see an opportunity to contribute high-quality designs that respond to local conditions and allow us to work in these magical places we love to visit and play. Stay tuned for more, and if you have any thoughts, ideas, or questions, please reach out.

The following map illustrates the diverse landscape of The Preserve, which is a mosaic of habitats: maritime chaparral and coastal scrub, grasslands and oak savannas, oak woodlands, coast redwood forests, streams and riparian areas, wetlands and ponds. Diverse landscapes inspire exciting opportunities for creative and responsive design concepts.

“As pioneers in introducing modern, award-winning designs to our community, Feldman Architecture consistently pushes the boundaries of excellence, inspiring transformative projects that resonate with our Mission, Vision, and Values. Their deep commitment to sustainability aligns well with our values and represents a compelling selling point, making The Santa Lucia Preserve an appealing choice for the environmentally conscious buyer. Their firm’s innovative designs not only generate positive press for our community, but also provide us the opportunity to showcase our dedication to cutting-edge architecture and sustainable living.”
Jen Anello, Senior Director of Sales & Marketing, Santa Lucia Preserve
“As a witness to the evolution of the Preserve and its Conservancy from day-one, I am proud to contemplate how much FA has contributed to the natural and cultural legacy of this place. Their creative, even passionate leadership in linking resources, programs, and owner’s dreams is displayed several times over in a second underlying principle of the Preserve: Authenticity. By the time Feldman Architecture finishes a new dwelling, it belongs here, unquestionably,”
Jeffrey B. Froke, Ph.D., Founding President, Santa Lucia Conservancy.

“Since the launch of the SLP 30 years ago, the architectural design guidelines were taken literally and traditional hacienda and Monterey style homes dominated the natural landscape of this 20,000 acre community. That was until FA distilled the essence of the guidelines into a contemporary home that responded to the land and offered seamless integration of indoor and outdoor living,”
Kate Stickley, Founding Partner, Arterra Landscape.

Related News

View all