Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Napa Valley House by Eliot Lee and Eun Lee

This house in the Napa Valley of the United States sits within the topography, the landscape driving the design. The “house” is actually a compound of four buildings that sit in a row between two hills. One is a living/dining space, one is a master bedroom and bath, one is a guest house, and one is a spa with a sauna.

The separate buildings are united by a series of orthogonal intersection paths and rammed earth walls, which also extend into the landscape and incorporate other elements, such as the pool, into the property.

A small amount of stone was excavated, though none was actually removed from the property; it was either used for the walls or crushed for the paths.

Most of the original flora was preserved; larger trees were temporarily moved elsewhere on the site and then replanted. Additional plantings were added, though all the plants are native species such as tanoaks, madrones, and manzanitas.

The overall philosophy of both the construction process and the final design was to step lightly on the existing landscape.