From behind, the Dani Ridge House is almost imperceptible with its tucked in location and undulating green roof. The owners of the home wanted to make as little impact as possible on their 70-acre site outside of Big Sur, California. To achieve this, they had Carmel-based firm Carver + Schicketanz design an earth-bermed home capped with a green roof planted with native grasses. Solar passive design plays in heavily to the home's energy efficiency and all of the utilities are stored underground to minimize the viewshed.
The Dani Ridge House is a three-bedroom, 1,900-square-foot home outside of Big Sur, California on a pristine site above the Pacific Ocean. Carver + Schicketanz worked with their clients to create a home that minimized its impact on the site and upheld their neighbors’ views. The hillside location afforded the team the option to tuck the home back into the hillside. Then they capped it with a insulating, Hydrotech green roof with 4 inches of soil and planted it with native grasses like California oat and red fescue. Landscaping surrounding the home was also upgraded to remove invasive species and add back more native grasses.
To further minimize viewsheds, all of the utilities, including a 5,000 gallon water tank and propane tank were also buried underground. The home emerges out from under the earth and peeks out from the hillside out over the bluff. The bedrooms, great room and kitchen face out with floor to ceiling glass windows, while bathrooms and other less view-critical rooms are relegated to the back. Solar passive design using the windows, sun shading, and thermal mass ensure plenty of natural daylight, winter heating and protection from overheating in the summer. Cross ventilation through operable windows keeps the interior cool and fresh when the conditions require it. The home enjoys a close connection with its environment and a variety of outdoor living areas encourage time spent outdoors.
Images ©Robert Canfield