A project located at the base of a canyon in the Big Sur area of Northern California, this 2,500 square foot 2 bedroom house was built for a family to enjoy together on the weekends and holidays.

This retreat, composed of four volumes, is on a site dominated by steep canyon walls. The challenge was creating a structure with weight that still sat lightly on the land, respecting the ecological fragility of the site and being attune to its forces. The Jackson Family Retreat holds its own, neither dominating nor dwarfing the site.

When the owners first commissioned us, local governing agencies were intent on leaving the land as it was-overgrown and uninhabited. However, working with ten consultants over three and a half years, we satisfied all the requirements necessary to build a modernist family retreat here.

The plan explores the tensions inherent in family getaways: open areas for communal living; private spaces for solitary retreats; and outdoor expanses for relaxation. A combination of transparent glass and extruded channel glass reflects and dapples the light throughout, creating a dynamic play of brightness and shadow. family retreat here.

Living room at night
Front facade of the house
The house and its surrounding


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