2014 Recipient | AIA Small Project Awards

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Fall House | Notes of Interest

This three-bedroom vacation home, on Big Sur’s spectacular south coast, is anchored in the natural beauty and power of this California landscape. The design strategy embeds the building within the land, creating a structure inseparable from its context.

The site offers dramatic views: a 250-foot drop to the Pacific Ocean both along the bluff and the western exposure. Yet it demands a form more complex than a giant picture window. The long, thin volume conforms and deforms to the natural contours of the land and the geometries of the bluff, much like the banana slug native to the region’s seaside forests. In this way, the complex structural system applies and defies natural forms to accommodate the siting.

Drought resistant and native vegetation is specifically intended reduce soil erosion and facilitates new habitats for local wildlife. A vegetated roof reduces the aerial visual footprint of the building and provides added thermal mass / insulation for the occupied space below.

The house is composed of two volumes that are linked by the glass library/den; it is the hearth of the house, a room that unites the house inside and out both with its geometry and its transparency.

Additional Credits

  • Structural Engineer: Paul Endres, Endres Ware Architects Engineers
  • Landscape Architect: Eric Blasen, Blasen Landscape Architects
  • Civil Engineer: Harold Grice, Grice Engineering and Geology, Inc.,
  • Photo Credit: © Joe Fletcher Photography

Fall House

  • Architect: Anne Fougeron, FAIA
  • Firm: Fougeron Architecture
  • Location: Big Sur, California

Jury Comments

Reveals the rewards of navigating a challenging site. Taking formal and material cues from its situation, while bringing its own particular configuration of the residential program, Fall House sets in play a concise and controlled set of architectural moves. An elegant transposition between cliff and sea that utilizes modest environmental strategies. The architect’s reference to the native “banana slug” sets forth a humorous analogy that embraces the simultaneous formal sophistication and efficiency of the home.

2014 AIA Small Project Awards Jury

  • Linda Reeder, AIA, Chair
  • Linda Reeder Architecture
  • New Haven, Connecticut
  • Deb Silber
  • Fine Homebuilding Magazine
  • Newtown, Connecticut
  • Rene Gonzalez, AIA
  • Rene Gonzalez Architect
  • Miami, Florida
  • Lisa Tilder, AIA
  • Ohio State University
  • Columbus, Ohio
  • Craig Scott, AIA
  • IwamotoScott Architecture
  • San Francisco, California

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