San Francisco-based Feldman Architecture have designed the Caterpillar House.

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Description from Feldman Architects

The design for the Caterpillar House, sited on the softly rolling hills of the Santa Lucia Preserve, sought to accentuate a connection to the land.  Having lived in a Cliff May home, the client came to the project with a love of modern ranch houses and looking for an environmentally-conscious response to a beautiful site.

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The Caterpillar House implements sustainable elements while exploring a contemporary version of the ranch ideals: massing that is low and horizontal, an open plan with a strong connection between indoor and outdoor spaces, and main living areas which center informally on the kitchen.

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Connecting literally and figuratively to the site, excavated earth was repurposed for the construction of the walls. ¬†These rammed earth walls gently curve in response to the site’s contours and also act as a thermal mass, regulating temperatures from day to night. Capturing rainwater for irrigation, three tanks proudly sit close to the home – a clear sign of the available water resources for landscape.

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Large south-facing glass doors open the main living area to a large covered contemporary porch and to an outdoor patio with sunshades that expand and contract to allow for a flexible entertaining area that responds to the client’s needs. The glazing, natural ventilation and operable shading also act as a passive heating and cooling system, cooling the house in the summer and warming the house in winter. ¬†Integrated photovoltaic panels enable the house to produce all of its energy requirements without compromising the graceful curve of the low roof against the hill.

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ARCHITECT: Feldman Architecture

PHOTOGRAPHY: Joe Fletcher Photography