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21-020 Curveball

Curveball aims to demonstrate how regenerative and site-sensitive design strategies will define a new architecture that is committed to stewardship and climate action. The project will attempt to achieve full Living Building Challenge certification, which would make this home the first to do so in California.⁠

A couple approached our firm with a vision for a new home that fits gracefully and subtly into the land, perfect for gathering and hosting friends and family, immersed in the natural magic of the Santa Lucia Preserve. Prioritizing site-responsiveness, regenerative design, and connection to the outdoors, the design artfully places two gently curved forms within a grove of oaks on a steep hillside, respecting the existing landscape and orienting public and private spaces towards both distant views as well as intimate moments with dense tree canopies.

The upper curved form, topped by a green roof, seamlessly emerges from the hillside and contains a primary suite with multidirectional panoramic vistas. The second lower curved form houses public spaces on the main level, playfully interlocking with the upper wing to carve out a sheltered courtyard between the two. The glassy foyer opens onto a landscaped courtyard with a plunge pool, and a patio off the great room steps down the hillside towards a pristine meadow below.

Materials

Considering fire resiliency and sustainability, the building is enveloped by durable, low-maintenance modular weathering steel panels and aluminum windows. The eroded material aesthetic reinforces the conceptual merging of architecture and landscape.

Regenerative Strategies Diagram

Living Building Challenge

A recent milestone involved successfully registering the project with the ILFI as a living building – a process in which the institute scrutinizes the application, ensuring that the building’s design will at least reach the CORE certification standards, which even without obtaining additional “petals,” are extremely rigorous. A hurdle in the approval of our application involved communicating the unique significance of the site and its surrounding community – the Santa Lucia Preserve. The Preserve is a land trust that includes 18,000 acres of protected land, as well as 2,000 acres of land strategically carved out for residential development. Once a parcel is purchased within the 2,000 acres of land dedicated to development, the owners commit to dividing the site into homeland and openland – meaning that a very small part of the site can contain a building footprint.

Interiors

Wood clad interiors add warmth and a sense of refuge to counter the rugged exterior palette. Our Interiors Studio selected bright, natural fixtures and furnishings, and curved edges softly mirror the architecture's curved lines.

Interiors Section

“We wanted to be immersed in nature and connected to the outdoors but sought to have as little effect on the local ecosystem as possible. The design was able to gently weave the house into the existing landscape while prioritizing sustainability, fire resilience, and flexible living. Rather than hiding the solar and water retention efforts, the design highlights these features as the team attempts Living Building Challenge Certification. It’s exciting to see cutting edge design paired with the latest sustainably efforts in such a beautiful way.”

Client Quote

Related Work

Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

5436 Sq.Ft.

  • Project Team

    • Architecture

      Feldman Architecture

    • Builder

      True Build Construction

    • Landscape Architecture

      MFLA

    • Structural Engineer

      Daedalus Structural Engineering

    • Mechanical and Energy Consultant

      Positive Energy

    • Civil Engineer

      L&S Engineering

    • Surveyor

      Whitson Engineers

    • Geotechnical Engineer

      Haro Kasunich & Associates

    • Sustainability Consultant

      Corey Squire, Department of Sustainability

    • LBC Consultant

      Phaedra Svec, McLennan Design

    • Ecologist

      Jeffrey B. Froke, Ph.D.

    • Water Systems Consultant

      WaterSprout

    • Planting Advisor

      RANA

    • Photography

      Santa Lucia Preserve

  • Publications