House Ocho

Located in a nature preserve in the Santa Lucia Mountains, the site of oak forests and steep meadows strongly impacted and inspired Feldman Architecture’s design for House Ocho. In order to reduce the impact of the home’s massing and to preserve site lines, the building settles into the ground and overhanging roofs are planted with tall native grasses. The house is also divided up into a series of pavilions to lessen its overall mass.

After passing through an entry grove, visitors can see distant views between and over the various building elements. As they are drawn into the widening view, they are led down from the tree-lined ridge to a large terrace that serves as an outdoor living room for the house. Nearly every room has wide doors that open to the land allowing the modest home to feel much more spacious.

In addition to allowing the house to blend into the landscape, the green roofs allow rain water to be absorbed on-site and ensure that the house remains cool in hot summer months. A passive solar design strategy was implemented as well: large windows expose the concrete floors and retaining walls to the morning sun, thus minimizing the need for artificial heat. Skylights with integrated photovoltaic cells produce a soft filtered light while also helping to power the house. Environmentally sensitive building materials such as sustainably harvested lumber and insulation made from denim manufacturing waste were specified throughout the home. Finally, the large meadows adjacent to the house have been replanted with native grasses and wildflowers which are drought-tolerant and also provide fire resistance.

LOCATION Carmel, California

Contractor: Groza Construction
Interior Design: Feldman Architecture
Landscape Design: Loretta Gargan Landscape + Design and Blasen Landscape Architecture
Lighting Design: Steinbeck Technical Consulting
Engineer: Fulcrum Engineering
Green Roof Consultant: Rana Creek
Photography: Paul Dyer, Claudio Santini, Kodiak Greenwood, and Roland Bishop

AIA San Francisco Design Honor Award: Energy and Sustainability, 2007
Green Roof Award for Excellence in Extensive Residential, 2007
Gold Nugget Award for Merit: Best Single Family House under 5,000 sf, 2007
Custom Home Merit Award: Custom Home less than 3,000 sf, 2006
California Home + Design Award for Eco-Friendly Design, 2006
Residential Architect Merit Award: New Home Design, 2005

Santa Lucia Preserve Magazine
Green is Beautiful
Custom Home Magazine
100 Country Houses
25 Houses Under 3000 Square Feet