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

Custom Residential Architecture

Guest Cottage

Philo, California

Simple, modest guest cottage on a ranch setting for a repeat client.  The cottage is nestled within a grassy meadow that gently falls away to the south with distant views of the rolling forested landscape beyond.

The single-story cottage is 1,600 sqft. in livable area, with three bedrooms and two baths and an attached two-car garage that includes a workshop/storage space.  The living, dining, and kitchen are combined in “great room” space under a hipped volume roof of exposed structural wood framing and decking.  Four large electrically operable skylights, one for each plane of the main roof, fill the interior of the space with natural lighting, as well as serve to vent room air and provide cross ventilation.  A masonry fireplace is a visual anchor for the great room.

A generous arrangement of continuous windows admit an abundance of natural light as well as connect the user with the outdoors and distant views beyond.  

An integrally colored ground face concrete block system is used extensively throughout as the primary wall structure.  The block not only functions as structure but serves as the finish wall material as well—inside and out.  The colored and burnished block masonry (machine polished to highlight the color aggregate of its composition) becomes an attractive finish and offers the additional benefit of being very low maintenance due to the nature of this durable material.

Heating is provided via a hydronic radiant system embedded in an integrally colored concrete slab floor.  

The cottage receives all of its electrical needs via solar shingle roofing.

Unfortunately, the cottage was not built as designed.  A stripped-down version was executed—a few photos of this shown on this web page.