In the design of the “Stump House,” situated in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, Brooklyn-based PARA Project was faced with unique constraints and unique possibilities. With local regulations imposing a 1,200 square foot footprint limit, 40-foot height limit, and provision for an adjoining 1,000 square foot uninhabitable structure, the design team was challenged to fit an extensive live-work space with little margin for maneuver.
In response, the design team, led by Jon Lott, stacked one structure on top of the other, with an uninhabited art studio at the lower level embedded in the sloping landscape. Combined with the above habitable space, the proposal creates a combined live-work program under a single roof, in-keeping with height and use regulations. Such was the beauty of their response, the Stump House has been awarded an Honorable Mention at the 2019 Architect Magazine Progressive Architecture Awards.
In addition to their stacked approach, the team has topped the living space with a glazed skylight in the gabled roof, creating a dynamic connection between inside and outside. The scheme is perched on composite stone stumps, serving to both anchor the scheme in its natural surroundings, but to also contain services such as a closet, shower, and a doorway. On the exterior, the eave of the pitched roof is warped to the east side, sweeping towards the ground, while the changing gradient allows for sweeping western views from the studio, despite its sunken condition.
The scheme’s ingenuity and balance were recognized at the 2019 Progressive Architecture Awards, operated by Architect Magazine. From 200 unbuilt submissions, 10 winners were chosen that “showcase innovative design from established heavyweights and fresh new perspectives.”
Project: Stump House, Ben Lomond, Calif.
Architect: Jon Lott / PARA Project, Brooklyn, N.Y. Jon Lott, AIA, Justin Gallagher, Kenneth Hasegawa, Lauren McClellan, Josephine Roubert (design team)
Contractor: MG Custom
Size: 2,200 square feet