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Barstow-Ensign Residence

Architect / Firm: Regan Bice Architects

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Regan Bice Architects

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This residence sits on a secluded hillside overlooking Anderson Valley, tucked into a large grove of mature oak trees. The primary design objective was to integrate a single-family retreat into this beautiful setting. This single story structure is comprised of three building masses along two linear circulation paths. We wanted the approach to the house to be viewed from above in order to perceive the strength of the linear form. The building’s single story, horizontal configuration maximizes the panorama of the valley below.

The rooms are designed to intimately accommodate a couple while offering an additional space for visiting family and friends. They were each seeking to create a space where they might enjoy their respective passions: gardening and woodworking. Design decisions focused on integrating the regional aesthetic, maximizing views, and minimizing energy consumption. (Between the insulation, the solar water heating system, and the photovoltaic cells, the house is almost energy self-sufficient. PG&E bills have averaged about $30 a month over the past year.)

The three building masses are divided by program. The northwestern mass consists of a master bedroom suite and home office as well as a project room and media room/library. Below the mater bedroom portion of this wing, are the guest bedrooms. The central building mass contains an integral living, kitchen and dining area. Between this space and the garage is a large covered, outdoor dining and living area. It opens to the east and west and capitalizes on the natural breeze broad vistas of oak grove and valley below. The southern mass accommodates a woodworking shop, guest bedroom/exercise room and a bath and pool house. The hot tub and pool form a fourth rectangular element contoured by a bed of lavender with a view of the ridge to the north.

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