Whenever I take a stroll along the Golden Gardens Beach near my neighborhood, the salty smell of the ocean wind sails me back into my childhood memories in the Aegean; the waters of Turquoise blue and white sandy beaches…
Every summer our parents took us to our family beach house in Izmir, Turkey. I don’t know how they made it work – with 4 families and 6 children under one roof, but it was a dream of a childhood for us. Swim all day long, climb fruit trees, go fishing, play hide-and-seek, Summer Olympics, long and loud family dinners, where even the kids snuck a sip of the birthday champagne… as we got older, we would set bonfires at night, and play guitar, roast potatoes… and who can forget a first kiss on the beach, under a starry night?
Here is a picture and my buddy Emre, in Dikili, Izmir – Turkey
Summer or winter, beach or mountains, family vacations are so unique, almost magical, where time stops, and the family bonds are reinforced. Memories become engraved so deep in our minds that, years later, as adults we go back to those moments in life to find happiness, and realize what important milestones they were in our lives.
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Late last year, a couple approached Board & Vellum with a desire to build a permanent home in the Tahoe region, where they spent the 90′s vacationing with their three sons. They wanted to build a place where they could relive some of these most precious memories, but this time with their adult sons, and maybe one day their grandchildren. The idea resonated so much with many of us in the office, and the project quickly became a dream home for us, too.
The boys - Summer 1994 in Lake Tahoe
A sloped landscape blanketed with tall evergreens, and very close by to the famed lake itself! We were eager to get started after an inspiring site visit.
We also investigated surrounding buildings that provided some regional context. We were especially intrigued by a barn built near the lake (lower right image in the collage above), and it became our inspiration, in the path of creating our version of a modern farmhouse: a structure with clean lines, yet with a warm, welcoming, maybe even rural feel to it.
Our one goal in designing this house was to respect the landscape and the regional vernacular of Tahoe, with a modern twist:
Rather than building one massive structure, our design accumulates three smaller volumes around central outdoor gathering spaces. The structure is cleverly stitched together with indoor “bridges”.
This plan layout also plays a crucial role in organizing the different functions of the house. The Master Wing is very private and dedicated to the couple’s personal needs and hobbies (i.e. the “Hot Rod” Car Shop as part of the garage below). The Great Room is the gathering place for large family dinners and celebrations; and the Guest Wing has 3 modestly sized bedrooms, with a Bar and Play Room. The Guest Wing can also be shut-off with a large barn door, when the couple is not entertaining any guests, to save energy. Site Diagram
Again, drawing inspiration from the barn near the lake, the main roofs have a 12:12 pitch, enabling a single-story layout with a sleeping loft for the grandchildren, and lots of additional storage.
Switching to a shed roof at the Great Room helps bring down the scale of the structure, and presents a less dramatic relationship toward the neighborhood , while lifting up toward the backyard to maximize the views of the forest beyond.
The curving driveway tucks behind a group of existing trees and the 3-car garage becomes practically invisible from the approach.
Please click on THIS LINK to see 3D renderings of the house.