D a n i e l   R u a r k ,   A r c h i t e c t

Custom Residential Architecture

Private Residence

Albion, California

The current Owner purchased this property with the understanding that an approved Coastal Development Permit and building plans for an earlier designed residence was conveyed with the property.  They also understood that they could proceed with building the approved residence from the plans that transferred with the property, but did not wish to.  Instead, they commissioned a new design to submit as an amendment to the permit and, in effect, completely replace the original design planned for the site.

In every aspect, the Owner’s proposed new residential design is more positively responsive, and sensitive to, the qualities of this highly scenic area.  They believe the new design represents an improvement that is clearly more horizontal in form, complementary and conforming to the natural sloping contours of the site.

The overall architectural character and aesthetic is “Arts and Crafts” in style, more in keeping with an earlier vocabulary that is appropriate to the historical context of the area and certainly the expressed preference of the client.  It will be highly detailed in this manner, utilizing forms, materials and colors that are familiar to the genre.

The residence is two-story structure and “L”-shaped in plan, with total square footage of the at 2,927 square feet of gross area, not including balconies and decks and not including a two-car garage (which is attached to the residence).

The residence is kept low to the ground with low-pitched roofs.  Generous roof overhangs and exposed, projecting wood timber rafters cast a pattern of light and shadow upon the walls of the house which further serve to soften the presence of the building within the landscape.  The walls begin with a wainscot base of red brick from grade, then the exterior is finished with clear-stained wood cedar shingles to the underside of the roof.  Wood trim is stained a subtle, earthtone color.  The roof is finished in composition shingles in a color to complement the overall natural palette for the house.  Decks at the west side are redwood finished with a natural stain.  Brick planters extend into the landscape from select points upon the exterior of the house, further connecting the building with the site, as well as providing attractive accent planting viewed from the interior.

The house steps down 18 inches midway within the house, as further evident on the West elevation, in order to conform with the natural down sloping contours of the site as well as present greater views beyond to the ocean and Navarro River for the occupants.

From any side, the new proposed residence never presents an imposing façade, the building elements stepping down or back so that the overall massing is pleasantly broken apart.  Projecting bay windows on the different elevations further serve to relieve any massing.