Donner…Party of 4 Residence

2018 Residential Merit Award

JLS Design

An abundance of natural light, clear simple elegant structural and material expression. Opening and fusing the interior with the exterior, a south wall of glass fully embracing the 200-degree south view, while “trays of space” and strategic tower elements maintain the utmost privacy. It results is a private Donner Lake viewing platform.

A very site-specific design utilizing structural shear towers and only one steel moment frame, subtly engages the steep hillside, but still facilitates a design that only has a maximum 4 ft. retaining wall at the house. The use of primarily an elastomeric three coat acrylic cement plaster finishes and 24-gallon Kynar coated sheet metal siding economically provides a durable exterior skin for the majority of the exterior. A thin veneered (environmentally sound) plywood is used only on the north elevation and shed roof so t to provide the perceptional “warmth”, without the ridiculous and socially irresponsibility of biannually restraining a wood siding wrapped monolith.

Massive amount of “passive” solar gain throughout both floors view the exposed Ultra Armour floor levels out the large temperature swings of the winter, while natural ventilation of lake thermal breezes and a whole house fan subtly address even the warmest of summer days. The solar orientation of the overall footprint and roof, blocks the summer sun and allows for full penetration of the daylight across the whole structure (garage included) throughout the winter. The hydronics throughout, Lutron Homeworks Smart lighting controls and 3.2 KW of solar photovoltaic power also enhance the numerous passive solar design configurations to further enhance the energy efficiency of the home.

Off the shelf Ikea cabinetry throughout, laminate bathroom countertops, economic Luan slab doors throughout, Milgard fixed windows and Sierra Pacific operable windows establish a very feasible and “off-the shelf” palette, which is then configured creatively for this particular site. Lime plaster “Eco Stucco” shower walls no only provide an eco-friendly solution, but more importantly an easily maintained surface. O the shelf Glue Lam beam stair treads and Ikea butcher block countertop material serves and the main building blocks for the central 2 1⁄2 story stairwell / “stack effect” vertical air shaft.