Yorkville Residence by Alan Nicholson Design Studio

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Location : Yorkville, Mendocino County, California,  United States

Area: 2750.0 ft2

Year: 2014


Architects: Alan Nicholson Design Studio

Landscaping: Ron Lutsko, Lutsko Associates

Photography by Alan Nicholson Design Studio

The site was chosen for expansive views and potential geologic locus. The residence is anchored on the north by a newly excavated rocky knoll. The design challenge was to interpret the solidity of the anchoring rock and the airiness of the broad southern vistas. The design concept floats the roof plane over massively thick earth walls, free of load, with sheltering glass curtains and anchored to the geology. Grounded yet implausibly  light.

The passive solar design relies on substantial thermal mass, including a thickened concrete slab and rammed earth walls; with studied roof overhangs and solar shading over a 16 foot glazed curtain wall.

The full height curtain walls utilize a custom vertical truss system with cast-steel web struts supporting the roof, integrating thermally broken glazing. The roof system floats on glazed exterior walls, and is supported with a three-dimensional cable truss system with  custom cast-steel spreaders.

The entry landscape is highlighted by the house emerging from a 70’ long spring fed reflecting pool inserted between the knoll and the rammed earth wall.

Native grasses and flowers seamlessly merge into domestic gardens. A new native oak woodland in formal rows defines the entry drive.

Alan Nicholson Design Studio


All images courtesy of Alan Nicholson Design Studio

Alan Nicholson Design Studio

Alan Nicholson established the Design Studio in 2005 as a multidisciplinary building  and environmental design practice in Northern California.

Read more here



Alan Nicholson Design Studio

3201 Mill Creek Road

Ukiah, CA.   95482


Alan Nicholson Design Studio

P.O. Box 577

Talmage, Ca.  95481

p.   707. 972. 8879

f.    707. 462. 1045

e.   alan@anDesignstudio.com

For more information, visit the Alan Nicholson Design Studio website.


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