Name: Lookout House
Location: Truckee, California, United States
Year of completion: 2020
Architect: Faulkner Architects
Design team: Gregory Faulkner, Christian Carpenter, Jenna Shropshire, Gordon Magnin, Breanne Penrod, Darrell Linscott
Interior and Lighting Design: Concept Lighting Lab, LLC
Contractor: Rickenbach Development and Construction, Inc.
Civil Engineering: Shaw Engineering
Structural Engineering: CFBR Structural Group
Mechanical, Plumbing, Energy Modeling and Electrical Engineering: MSA Engineering Consultants

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Lookout House ©www.archdaily.comProject Details

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Lookout House ©www.archdaily.com

Lookout House is a house designed by Falkner Architects in the perched Landscape of Truckee in California, USA. The construction took place over five years at the base of a three-million-year-old volcano. The geographic specification of the site was the focal point which led to the design development, replicating the ambiance of molten lava using Tinted Glass. 

Exterior and Interior Design concept

The exterior of the house has a contemporary design using straight, non-fussy lines, appearing like stacked cubes and cuboids with empty spaces in between. The colors used in the exterior are dark and dusky which stand out against the contrasting all-white surrounding. The entrance is decorated with an orange-red tinted glass that mirrors the color of cooling magma, complementing the geology of the site as well as giving a sense of warmth within the house. The color is infused into the house through the entrance and the stairwell, giving the whole house a stunning scarlet glow. 

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The concept of contemporary design is maintained while designing the interiors as well with full height openings and straight-line furniture. The house has clean interior spaces, big beautiful openings that follow the usual Californian style of homes. The indoors and outdoors sit together very comfortably in a simplistic manner, accentuating the outdoor beauty and inviting it inside. 

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Zoning and Space Planning

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Stretching over a built area of square meters, the plan is built on a slope following the geography of the site. The zoning is done in a way where spaces are divided into common areas, service areas, and private areas. The common areas all face the outdoors with long windows which create a very open ambiance. Another interesting proof of innovation in the space planning of this house is the placement of a ski slot, cutting through the beautiful holiday home. One can ski directly in and out of the house. The ski slot is matching the existing slope of the building and cuts through the center of the house, creating an interesting mass when viewed from outside. The slot connects the various territories of the house depending on the level of privacy required at each place, concealed with steel plates inside the house. 

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As one enters the house via the staircase, there is a diagonal gathering space that looks down at the valley on one side and up to the mountain on the other. Spaces like this highlight the geography of the site interestingly and create a pleasant common space.

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The sleeping rooms are enclosed by a continuous wood screen and buried into the north slope of the site. The master suite is the only room that is in a very private zone of the house, concealing it from any invasion from outside with majestic views of the Martis Valley.

Materials and Construction Techniques

All enclosed spaces are insulated with 20-inch thick concrete walls made from locally available sand and aggregate. The concrete walls are constructed at an angle to create a building envelope which connects and disconnects at various points to create an infusion of the outdoor-indoor environment. The openings are covered with structurally glazed sliding doors to welcome the southwestern breeze. Throughout the house, a subtle tone and color are followed to mute the visual noise of the built mass, to emphasize the beautiful landscape outside.

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The construction of the building was entirely done keeping the sustainability of materials in mind. The use of locally available materials and energy-efficient techniques has made the project a major structural success amidst the difficult site conditions. Heavy concrete walls and radiantly heated stone floors, an R80 insulated roof, enhanced glazing, and high-efficiency mechanical and lighting equipment minimize energy consumption, making the building very efficient. The building exterior is made of concrete and steel which is manufactured to be fire-resistant and low maintenance.

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Conclusion and Design excellence 

The project is the result of an extensive study of the difficult alpine site conditions which were used along with the building mass, rather than building across it. The built mass sits perfectly within the site geography and complements the location in terms of materials and massing. Rather than making the built mass stand out, it is made to mingle with its surroundings and displays the use of multiple design concepts, instead of a single one. The final touch of excellence in design is the use of tinted glass which gives a beautiful effect and mirrors the culture and history of the site in a spectacular way. 

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References:

Author

Ojaswita is an Architect by profession and a Designer by passion. She is a creative and hardworking individual with a knack for trying new things, one of which is Architectural Journalism. An introvert who gets curious easily, she loves to find out about the different cultures of the world and the many stories they tell.

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