The owners of this beautiful 3,160-square-foot, single-family home located in the hills of the Santa Ynez Valley are ex-gallery owners and serious art collectors. The owners requested that the new two-bedroom home be energy-efficient, and Fernau + Hartman Architects produced a design that is both contemporary and sustainable. Now that it's completed, the home sits as if it were the largest art piece in the new owners' collection.
The Santa Ynez Valley home sits nestled in a hillside on the site connecting to the landscape as a natural observer of the floral and fauna. The windows of the home frame fantastic views of the natural surroundings as if they were exhibits in an art gallery. The architects and designers at Fernau + Hartman spent a lot of time on the site to ensure that the views were being maximized for each space. The intersecting and intermingling buildings on the site allow for the homeowners to even frame specific views of the home that appear as built artforms. The two-bedroom home also shares the property with a studio/guest house and a series of outdoor spaces for entertaining.
The sustainability of this home include both exterior and interior features that help make this home an energy efficient and environmentally responsible dwelling. The exterior landscape, designed by Pamela Burton & Company, used native plants mixed partially using seeds from the site, which required less intense irrigation. Many of the exposed outdoor living spaces, as well as larger windows, were covered by shading devices to mitigate excessive sun exposure. The building’s orientation took advantage of natural breezes for ventilation and the sun’s radiation for a solar hot water system.
The interiors of the home resonate comfort and modernity. The interior materiality include sustainably grown cork flooring, reclaimed Douglas fir decking, cabinets made from resin paper composite, and recycled sunflower seed biocomposite paneling. The clean lines and white walls of the interior spaces contrast well with the industrial and rustic materiality of the exterior of the buildings. Even the intersecting planes of wood paneling which break up the gallery-esque interior seem like art exhibits within the building.