Faulkner Architects designs an eco-friendly villa among the Californian oaks

An exterior corten skin and a wooden interior define this 100% passive house immersed in a forest.

Miner Road is a winding road that crosses a patch of greenery on the outskirts of Orinda, a city in the suburbs of San Francisco. Here an old ranch house from 1954 lost in an oak forest has been chosen by a couple of scientists as their new home. After realizing that the existing structure and the available land were unsuitable for reuse, the couple decided to assign Faulkner Architects the design of the new villa, leaving the fireplace as the only surviving part of the original house, which was then covered in concrete and reused as a structural support.

The intimate relationship that the house creates with the surrounding vegetation, however, is not just an aesthetic choice, and the materials and methods used in the construction were chosen looking both at direct costs and life cycle costs. For example, as the architects say, the exterior cladding in corten slabs creates a chromatically dynamic skin, but it was also chosen for its zero maintenance costs, as well as for the wood used for the interior walls.

The client’s main request, in fact, was to have a zero annual energy performance, and the attitude of the designers was to use few materials, simplifying the details and lowering construction costs, giving the possibility to a large part of the budget to be relocated in the mechanical and insulation systems.

Miner Road
casa unifamiliare
Orinda, CA
Faulkner Architects
Design development:
Greg Faulkner, Darrell Linscott, Jenna Shropshire, Christian Carpenter, Richard Szitar
Ethan Allen Construction

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