On a weekend in July, I drove up to Truckee, California to shoot a Lake Tahoe-style project by Shelterwerkes Architecture. We made a long day of it on Saturday, and wrapped up Sunday morning (just in time for me to catch a flight out of Reno for LA).
Truckee is in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and only about 4 miles from where the Donner Party met their fate (I was looking for a souvenir Donner Party Snowglobe in town but couldn’t find one).
Up there, the design aesthetic is 100% natural wood, and field stone, and steep-pitched roofs. If you use peeled logs, it’s a cabin. But regardless, it’s a pretty safe bet that there will be a lot of knotty pine, stone, and warm, amber, earthy colors.
Shelterwerkes re-arranged the interior of this structure and added an elevated outdoor deck. The rooms all face the wooded rear of the property, and you really feel like you’re isolated in the woods, even though there are neighbors on both sides. Then, they applied their own unique take on the “Tahoe Style” to finish each room. Wood and stone, yes — but with a modern aesthetic and energy-efficiency in mind.
The rear deck connects the central living spaces (kitchen, den, living room) with the outdoors, and divides the two wings that contain the master suite (one side) and guest rooms (other side).
The front entry features a field stone wall that extends out well beyond the front facade of the house, guiding you in.
The entry itself pulls you inside, with the fieldstone continuing into the foyer. The sensation is very much that the wall alongside the front entry is continuous into the interior.
One of the great satisfying things about my work is the chance to really spend some time with well-designed structures like this one, parsing their components and figuring out how it all works together!