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The structure is composed of a 20-foot wide x 115-foot long stepped platform, a shelter formed by the roof and east wall, and several gabion stone walls. The interior and exterior are separated only by a glass wall that wraps around three sides of the home, blurring the line between inside and out. Finish materials were chosen to enhance this effect. The result is a seasonally expansive structure that generously sized in summer at 2200 square feet, and shrinking down to a modest and efficient 100 square feet in winter.

According to the architect, “the east wall cuts into the land like a rusty blade, evoking the cultural history of the mining encampments found nearby and providing privacy from the road. It offers a defensive backdrop when viewed from the interior and, when combined with the sheltering roof and warm fire, lends a primordial feel that is unexpected in this thoroughly modern structure.

Related: Casa Gavion Uses a Breathing Gabion Wall To Keep Cool in Baja, Mexico

Gabion stone walls were made using the excavation waste generated while grading the site. These walls act as a bridge between building and landscape, providing both function and decoration. The architect made sure to make the entire structure not only beautiful, but sustainable as well. According to the architect: “Sustainable materials, technologies and techniques are used throughout, including recycled steel, sustainably harvested wood, BIBS insulation in oversized wall and ceiling cavities, on-demand hot water, low-flow fixtures and convection heat. Fenestration is designed to encourage passive solar radiation in winter. In summer, natural ventilation, large overhangs and seasonally-deployed, exterior-mounted sun shades (made from fabric used to shield fruit trees on nearby orchards) protect the glass from summer sun.”

+ David Coleman