This soaring Lake Tahoe abode constantly references its sylvan setting, from the polished concrete floors that glisten like water to the strips of light that demarcate space.

Faulkner Architects, a Northern Californian firm known for their dramatic, contemporary spaces and spectacular materiality, were approached to build a family home that would have a special relationship with the lakeshore and powerful pines of the property on Burnt Cedar Beach on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. The resulting residence, called Burnt Cedar, fulfills the clients’ desire for a minimalist, timeless, contemporary design that avoids gimmicks.

The house is anchored to its sloping site through a series of steps that lead from street-level to front entrance, and through the identification of the garage as a central element of the architecture.

Burnt Cedar is anchored to its sloping site through a series of steps that lead from the street level to the front entrance.

Joe Fletcher Photography

The natural landscape played an integral role in the home’s design. Sandblasted, board-formed concrete echoes the texture of neighboring trees, and floor-to-ceiling cut-outs—inspired by the work of American artist Gordon Matta-Clark, known for his deconstructive “building cuts”—invite rays of sunlight into the interior. This light “[provides] relief from the intensity of the design, dissolving any tension between inside and outside, and casting a controlled illumination onto the reflective, polished, ebonized, concrete floor,” explain the architects.



The minimalist material palette and two-story glass wall respond to the client’s desire to see and focus on the view of the lake from the water to the treetops.

The minimalist material palette and two-story glass wall respond to the client’s desire to focus on the view of the lake, from water to treetops.

Joe Fletcher Photography

Other top priorities for the clients were privacy, as the residence is set on a major thoroughfare, and garage space for their wide-ranging car collection, which includes a 1974 VW Thing and a 2016 Tesla X.

Faulkner employed a strategic use of concrete, steel, wood, and glass to avoid

Faulkner Architects employed a strategic use of concrete, steel, wood, and glass to avoid “dating” the property. 

Joe Fletcher Photography

See the full story on Dwell.com: An Uplifting Lake Tahoe Retreat Uses Light as a Building Material

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