Our clients from the UK and New Zealand needed a cost effective family house with a separate self-contained flat. The house was to be contemporary but use local materials.
The site, on the lower slopes of mountains containing the Lake Tahoe skiing resorts, had views 120 miles south across the Nevada Desert. The site was also in earthquake territory. An in situ concrete box on deep foundations forms the ground floor which also contains the separate apartment. The first floor was formed using giant Douglas Fir Virendel beams, which are 9ft high. Glazing spans between the frames and the roof, which is formed from a curved shell and clad in corrugated iron.
A simple concept was developed for a house where there were extreme temperatures, using natural ventilation where possible, and employing a timber structure and internal and external cladding. Hand drawn A4 details were faxed to the client overnight who completed much of the fit out himself.
A detailed set of drawings was prepared working in conjunction with local structural engineers and beam manufacturers who were also able to get local statutory approvals. A number of site visits were made when the skiing was at its best!