Text description provided by the architects. This vacation home is set on the crest of a grassy knoll on a 160-acre site in Mendocino County. The goal was to preserve and enhance the natural beauty of the property by siting the retreat in a careful, simple, and unobtrusive manner. The 10-module home forms an L-shaped plan, framing views of a canopy of mature oak trees to the south and east.
The road leading to the house climbs the hill and ends at the carport at the home’s west end. A set of concrete stairs lead up a gentle grade from the carport to the entry deck, which runs along the north side of the home. The main volume is oriented east to west and arranged in an open plan. The living room, kitchen, and dining room collectively open southward onto a covered patio with an outdoor fireplace and pool area. From the main volume, the master bedroom extends to the north, following the edge of the hilltop and ending in a private deck that takes in the morning light from the east.
Long Valley Ranch utilizes a number of sustainable strategies and materials. Passive solar heating and cooling are achieved through use of concrete flooring, covered decks, and natural through breezes. A 17-kW solar array offsets the electricity usage of the house, and a tankless hot water heater provides on-demand water heating. Sustainable materials are used throughout, including recycled denim insulation and low-VOC paint.