A newlywed couple  bought 20 acres on the top of a hill that was so thickly covered with brush it was difficult to explore enough to find potential building sites.  The usual way to deal with thick brush is to hire a large front bladed dozer to scrape it clean and level a building pad.  I much prefer to work with existing contours and foliage so I suggested they hire a brush clearing crew (off duty forest fire fighters) to make trails into the property and to “manicure” promising building sites.  We hired surveyors to map the topographical contours.  Using the topo map we were able to design an access road, locate a site for the well, the water storage tank, and potential sites for a house and several outbuildings.  Once the underbrush was removed we were able walk around and pick the best building site.  The topo map showed the location of all the major trees and landscape elements and I was able to easily integrate the building design into its environment.

The entry to the house is through a solarium breezeway that connects the 2 car garage with the living area.  The house is modest: 2 bedrooms, 2 baths.  The living room, dining and kitchen have sloped ceilings.  The downstairs bedroom (office), bathroom and part of the eastern patio are under the 2nd floor so have 9 ft. flat ceilings. The master bedroom and bath, upstairs are each under pyramid shaped roofs.

I have fond memories of designing this house.  My daughter, Ginger Feretto, was home from architecture school (Cal Poly) that summer and she worked for me.  We both love architecture and it was so nice to work with her.  The interior sketches you see in the slides were drawn freehand by her.  She’s a much better artist than I.  She now practices architecture in Seattle, WA.

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