Excerpt: Faulkner Architects & Olson Kundig designed a three story treehouse with Solid steel cladding, transitioning to large areas of transparency accommodating scenic views from living rooms, bedrooms attached baths for guests and also from a roof-top deck.
[Text as submitted by architect] Designed in collaboration with the client – an architect based in Truckee – Analog House celebrates a rugged, high desert site populated by ponderosa pine, manzanita, and exposed basalt. The home’s footprint meanders through the understory, deliberately shaped to preserve existing specimen trees and create a protected internal courtyard. Extensive transparency and clerestory windows throughout the home provide access to views and daylight, while numerous indoor/outdoor connections link occupants to their surroundings, an important consideration for this active family.
The interior palette features concrete and steel, punctuated by kinetic devices that engage both the built environment and natural context. Just inside the home’s entry, a steel mesh stair wall works with upper-level clerestory windows to invite daylight into interior spaces while providing visual and textural interest.
The powder room sink references Japanese bamboo fountains, also known as sōzu, reimagining a standard off-the-shelf shower valve as a unique, gravity-responsive faucet. Dining room lights hang from custom bent steel armatures that organize and conceal electrical cords. Bridging the kitchen and exterior wrap-around porch, a custom fireplace can be converted to an Argentinian grill via hand-cranked mechanisms.
The glass-walled “forest hall” connects the kitchen and dining wing to the living room and master suite through a tree-lined procession with views of the surrounding woods on all sides. Clerestory windows line the living room, suffusing the space with natural light, while a cantilevered steel roof provides cover for an exterior patio.
A discreet entry leads into the master suite, which includes an intimate sitting room, open casework closet, sleeping area, and bath. The custom bed, designed by the client, faces the trees, while the master bath incorporates a private slot view as well as a protected courtyard.
The “treehouse,” a three-story tower, rises above the main volume of the home. Solid steel cladding grants privacy to the tower’s street-facing north side, transitioning to large areas of transparency on the other sides of the tower, which are protected by year-round tree cover. The treehouse provides bedrooms and attached baths for guests as well as a roof-top deck with views of Northstar Ski Resort.
“This was my first time designing a home for a fellow architect, and it was a true pleasure to work with Greg Faulkner. Though I work closely with my clients on every project, Greg and I elevated that collaboration to a new level. It was truly like working alongside a peer, and the design reflects the dialogue that we enjoyed throughout the entire process.” –Tom Kundig, FAIA, RIBA, Design Principal.