A baby-boomer couple just entering retirement wanted to build a new, down-scaled home by selling their existing home of 35 years, buying land, and building their dream. This is a home that is affordable, effortless, and sustainable. The house wraps around the site creating a private exterior courtyard with small pond, and has many sliding doors, providing abundant daylight and blurring the boundary between outdoors and in.
The design of the house considers both immediate and life-cycle costs in its approach to sustainability. Recycled materials are used when possible, such as light-gauge steel studs, made of recycled content and create little waste, and formaldehyde-free MDF cabinetry. Heating and cooling energy requirements are reduced through a solar water heating system on the roof, and radiant floors throughout. Plus, water consumption is reduced to a minimum outdoors by the use of native landscaping.
The couple desired a simplified lifestyle with an extremely maintenance-free house. Materials, such as the exterior metal cladding and the radiant, concrete slab which is simply polished as the finish floor, are contemporary and durable. The single-story, accessible plan is very open, with flexible spaces that convert depending on the need – office and reading area close down with sliding doors to become a visitor’s bedroom. The home is meant to provide a comfortable, easy way of living, reflecting a new, simplified lifestyle.
Photographs by Anthony De Santis