Sited on a cliff 250 feet above the Pacific Ocean near Big Sur, the Fall House is a sustainably-built vacation home that celebrates the rugged coastal landscape. Designed by Fougeron Architecture, the home is anchored into the hillside and takes in the stunning views of the ocean and coast while minimizing energy use through passive building strategies. A green roof, daylighting, low-impact landscaping, reduced water and energy use, and sustainable materials all play a part in making this home a spectacular space.
Fall House is a long, thin volume that conforms to the natural contours of a sloping cliff above the ocean. The dramatic landscape called for a dramatic solution, and Fougeron Architecture crafted a home that takes in the views while respecting the environment. The upper floor hosts the open floor plan living, dining and kitchen areas, while the ground floor offers three bedrooms (the master bedroom cantilevers out over the cliff). Programmatic areas are separated by steps instead of walls. An outdoor patio to the south is protected from northern winds by the house and enjoys access to a green roof that covers one of the bedrooms below.
Fougeron Architecture employed a number of strategies to minimize the home’s impact and energy use. First, the Fall House’s orientation and design lets in loads of natural light, while shading on the south protects from over heating and low E windows reduce solar gain. Radiant floor heating provides energy-efficient climate control, and natural ventilation via the stack effect rids the home of excess heat. Outside, the landscape features drought-resistant native plants. Water efficient fixtures and a septic system that differentiates black and grey water minimizes impact on the municipal system. Finally, the home was built with sustainable and low-VOC materials that improve indoor air quality. Fall House was the recipient of the 2013 AIA CC Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture.
Images ©Joe Fletcher Photography