Nestled on a spectacular coastal cliff in California’s Big Sur, Fall House is an architectural marvel that truly feels at one with the landscape
Fougeron Architecture's design strategy for this three-bedroom home was to create a structure that felt embedded in the land, "inseparable from its context."
Reminiscent of Big Sur houses built in the '50s and '60s, the home offers gorgeous, sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, and of the plunging 250-foot drop along the bluff and western exposure.
Due to its remote location, sustainability was a key factor in selecting materials for the project. Long-lasting and durable materials like copper, steel and glass make up the majority of the design.
Copper is perhaps the most notable element aesthetically, found on the roof and exterior panels of the south façade. Not only does copper blend seamlessly with the landscape, but as a material, it doesn’t need to be replaced as often, nor does it require extra finishes that would introduce potentially harsh chemicals into the ecosystem.Joe Fletcher PhotographyThe expansive glass windows of the north façade allow residents to enjoy the breathtaking view. Long strips of translucent channel glass play off the shimmering ocean surface below, creating an ever-changing stream of light and shadow throughout.
Inside, the centerpiece of the home is the glass-enclosed den which Principal Anne Fougeron calls the "hearth and home of the house." To ensure that the all-glass room wouldn't feel overly exposed to the outside, interior design elements like warm wood accents, a fireplace and comfortable fabric chair were added to "create a feeling of coziness and refuge from the outside elements."
In keeping with its many commitments to sustainability, natural daylight in all rooms—including bathrooms—is tailored to solar orientation, reducing power loads from artificial lighting. Primary daylight is indirect and comes from the north, while southern light is limited and "mitigated by automatic shading system."Joe Fletcher PhotographyA vegetated green roof "reduces the aerial visual footprint of the building and provides added thermal mass insulation for the occupied space below." The green roof also improves energy and water efficiency, and enhances water quality by intercepting solar radiation and cooling structures in the summer.
“Placing form on wilderness is a radical act,” says the team at Fougeron, “The challenge was to design a house in one of the most spectacular natural settings on the Pacific Coast that would both respect and transform the land.”