Architects: CCS Architecture
Location: Aptos, California, USA
Project Year: 2009
Project Area: Residence, 2800 square feet; Barn, 1600 square feet
Interior Designer: Lynn Ross Designs
Landscape Designer: Natalain Schwartz Designs
Structural Engineer: Ron Belknap
Civil Engineer: David Dauphin
Tent Cabins: Sweetwater Bungalows
Photographs: Paul Dyer
The Aptos Retreat Residence by CCS Architecture is a true example of tasteful rustic style. This retreat for a San Francisco family of eight was prompted to create a casual setting for entertaining, cooking, tanning, swimming, archery, horseshoes, gardening and wood splitting. The 20-acre site includes two primary buildings and a third building known as ‘the barn’ which serves as the property’s clubhouse.
Located in the Santa Cruz Mountains just inland from the town of Aptos the house has mountain and ocean views. The two main buildings are referred to as the ‘live building’ and the ‘sleep building’. The sleep building is gently nestled under the raised roof of the live building. This interaction creates a covered a sheltered outdoor space along with an L-shaped yard.
The live building contains dining, living, and kitchen spaces along with the master suite on the upper level. The space is anchored by the kitchen space which contains two triple sets of eight foot by ten foot sliding glass doors. When fully opened these doors provide a 32 foot wide opening looking over the yard and panoramic views. The kitchen also contains a eighteen foot long, three inch thick slab of walnut as the main countertop fashioned from a downed tree.
The sleep building contains two bedrooms and a shared bathhouse. The steel structure of both buildings is clad in reclaimed barn and Corten steel roof. The interior is made up of concrete floors, wood, stone and steel.
The barn structure is fully clad in Corten and the interior is a mixture of the structural steel shell and exposed wood of the loft space. The loft level contains a billiard table and sofa beds for additional sleeping needs.
The overall site, surrounded by redwood trees and distant ocean views, contains numerous outdoor activities. The swimming pool and fire pit sit below the main house, the archery range above and the horseshoe pits between the barn and main structure. Two additional ten cabins are set amongst the trees and serve as guest houses.
The construction features a solar thermal system which supplies domestic hot water as well as hot water for the pool and radiant heated floor which runs throughout. Its exterior material choices reflect the sustainable goal of the building as it uses reclaimed wood and Corten steel, which is a high-content recycled product.