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ABOUT US

Faulkner Architects was formed by Greg Faulkner in 1998 to pursue the making of highly crafted, site sensitive places. Emphasis is placed on an interactive process between Architect, Client and Builder through the length project, that allows the inhabitants to be intimately involved with the design. A strong commitment to the quality of every project is evident in the buildings and professional relationships.

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    LOCATIONS

  • 2115 4th Street #A
    Berkeley, CA 94710
    (510) 704-8400
  • 12242 Business Park Drive #18
    Truckee, CA 96161
    (530) 582-7400

Game Zone

“A larger place for the family to engage in fun and games together connected by a bridge to our house,” was the request by our client. The resultant project takes disciplined form in a two story, south facing rectangular barn-like space. The flexible oversized room for games is flanked on each end with yoga/exercise to the east and a screened outdoor cooking and dining porch to the west. It stacks over two private bedrooms below that open north to the forest.

Stretched along the east-west solar axis and facing the sun, the main space opens fully with sliding glass doors. The expanse of glass emits solar energy in winter to a heat sink of basalt floors. Horizontally coursed, an acoustically insulated cedar screen will soften the sounds of laughter coming from the new family hang out. The realized glass bridge transforms moods through total immersion in the landscape in route to the new space.

PROJECT INFO

Type: Residential
Year: In Progress
Location Truckee, CA
Team: Greg Faulkner,
Pete Austin,
Christian Carpenter,
Jenna Shropshire,
Gordon Magnin
Contractor: MOUNTAIN CRAFT, INC.
Interior Design: CLL. CONCEPT LIGHITING LAB, LLC.

Creek House

Set amidst a volcanic boulder field in a pine and fir forest, Creek House is a family retreat that inhabits an existing outcrop clearing at the edge of the spring fed Martis Creek. Near the base of Lookout Mountain at Northstar California Resort, the house is conceived in plan as three directional bars that slide between and alongside the boulders and trees. The largest contains the main living areas and sleeping quarters. A margin sized bar houses the entry and support spaces and connects the third bar that contains a tandem, drive-through garage to the house. A south facing, 140-foot long, insulated concrete wall demarks the spaces longitudinally and situates the house in the mountainous terrain.

A shift of the major bar to the west over the natural downslope of the site earns two requested rock gardens. The garden to the east is open to the sky and built into the void left by the displacement, with building height concrete walls retained to provide privacy for the master bedroom. The gravel surface, set with site native basalt stones and framed with water, can be viewed only through a low, three-dimensional glass box that allows the garden to penetrate the room. A rectangular basin captures snow melt to create a protective and ephemeral pool of water around this most private area of the house. The second garden to the west lives under the cantilevered house that shields the lower level from the west sun and contains the largest boulders of the site. A glazed hallway floor above reveals a dramatic drop in the topography and car sized boulders.
At the top of the slope, the one-story horizontal form presents a closed and secure face to the northwestern street exposure. Fire resistive steel rain screens and tempered glazing inhabit the territories earned by the concrete wall. The mass heavy house is designed as a long thin rectangle that faces the sun to maximize solar exposure during winter and minimize heat gain from the west and east in summer. The house is cooled by prevailing breezes that flow up and through the house from the west. Radiantly heated bluestone floors, solar assisted domestic hot water and LED electric light further reduce energy demands.
The family reports a quiet and secure inhabitation is found here among the rocks, trees and light. The site and boulders are left as they were found. A minimal palette of bluestone, ebonized rift sawn oak, concrete and white gypsum build a neutral interior environment that differentiates with the glowing landscape outside. The layered build-up of spaces across the site allows for optimal privacy and tranquility.

PROJECT INFO

Type: Residential
Year: 2014
Location Truckee, CA
Team: Greg Faulkner,
Darell Linscott,
Jenna Shropshire,
Owen Wright,
Richard Szitar
Photographer: Joe Fletcher Photography
Contractor: Jones Corda Construction
Interior Design: CP Interiors

AWARDS:

  • 2017 AIA East Bay Design Awards, Honor Award
  • 2016 AIA California Council Residential Design Awards, Honor Award
  • 2016 Leaf Awards, Residential Building Single of the Year

PUBLICATIONS:

Burnt Cedar

This is a full-time beach house for a car passionate family of four situated across from Burnt Cedar Beach in Incline Village, Nevada on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. Prior to being pulled up the hill to flumes and rails destined for Virginia City, logs were staged here as the mountains around the lake shore were logged during the silver mining years of the 1860s.
Set into a neighborhood originally built in the 1950s and bordered by houses to the sides and rear, the house takes a simple box form, half buried into the slope. It faces the lake with full height glazing that encloses a loft-like plan with double height living spaces. The clients requested a space that felt like the landscape and maintained a feeling inside of being outside in the light and shadow play of the sixty to ninety-foot Jeffrey and Ponderosa pines that populate the lake shore.†
Perforated wood ceilings and acoustical plaster walls soften the sounds of the concrete and glass pavilion-like house. An underground garage is excavated under the house with level access to the street, a must in this snowy climate for a family with an eclectic car collection.

Miner Road

The clients are a couple of environmental scientists who, along with their two sons, relocated from the Oakland Hills to the warmer climate of Orinda. Their commitment to sustainability, including a request for net-zero energy performance annually, was evident in their thinking throughout the design process. A three-bedroom program began as a remodel of a 1954 ranch house at the foot of a hill next to a seasonal creek. After finding the existing structure and soils to be unsuitable, the direction settled on reusing the existing footprint under the shade of a Valley Oak that had grown up close to the original house. The surviving portion of the original house is the fireplace which was wrapped in concrete and utilized for structural support. This made additional grading unnecessary and allowed the new house to maintain the same intimate relation to the old oak.
The family desired an open living layout that connected directly to the landscape. A mezzanine plan evolved with a double height family space nested with a master bedroom and study stacked above the kitchen and nook. A screened pacing deck for long phone calls shades the upper level from afternoon summer sun. Downstairs, secondary bedrooms along an extendable hallway, wrap an outdoor dining area situated between the kitchen and family room.
Construction materials and methods were considered in balance between first and lifecycle costs. The Corten steel rain screen for the exterior skin and interior wood were chosen to take advantage of zero annual maintenance cost and a shotcrete foundation allowed formwork to be repurposed for wood framing.
Single use material selections such as the Corten steel and shotcrete foundation reduced complexity in detailing and labor costs allowing a larger portion of the budget to be reallocated for upgraded mechanical, insulation, and glazing systems. The same attitude for interior finishes produced acoustically insulated, unfinished oak ceilings and walls. The sum total of the limited and landscape-driven materials presents a relaxed and quiet built environment that allows the senses to focus on the natural environment. A haptic connection to the rhythms of our planet is evident.
A 14-gauge Corten rain screen provides a no-maintenance skin. High levels of insulation and glazing efficiency reduce heating and cooling loads. An 8.1kW photovoltaic system provides on-site renewable energy and produced more electrical energy than the house used the first year. Rainwater is collected via a waterfall from the roof at the end of the hallway. Buried tanks store water for use in toilets and laundry. Greywater is collected separately and reused for irrigation. Electronically commutated motors and variable speed heat pumps are used to further limit energy use and control heating and cooling. An energy recovery ventilator is used to provide fresh air.

Shoreline

Shoreline is essentially a cast-in-place concrete box designed to withstand a harsh location on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. The fire resistive and maintenance free shell builds a pavilion-like mezzanine plan in section with a two-story living space on the beach. The mezzanine houses bedrooms and a family room that overlooks both the living space and on grade garage below. An underground garage is accessed via car elevator and will store the client’s car collection.

Spaced and acoustically insulated native cedar boards wrap walls and ceilings softening the soundscape in the concrete and glass house. Enhanced insulation and glazing systems combined with radiantly heated floors and insulated concrete mass walls mitigate potential daily temperature swings of sixty degrees. Full height vertical slits in the closed concrete walls facing the neighbors are angled toward the lake to provide light and view along with privacy. The two-story form extends to the south and east shading the interior from sun in summer yet welcoming it in winter.

PROJECT INFO

Type: Residential
Year: In Progress
Location Incline Village, NV
Team: Greg Faulkner,
Joseph Sandy,
Vince Robles,
Jenna Shropshire,
Gordon Magnin

Squaw Valley Ski Cabin

Built prior to the 1960 Winter Olympics and wedged into a granite outcrop on Sunnyside ski run at Squaw Valley USA, a long abandoned ski cabin site is planned to be rebuilt and shared by four families. The topography drops from a narrow private road at a 40-degree angle and does not allow space for a garage. A pedestrian steel grate bridge will span the drop-off to allow level entry directly to the main living space. The elevated floor will float above the boulders at roughly the annual snow depth of twenty feet. A steel box form fits precisely within the available building envelope three dimensionally. With steel sash windows, the cabin will withstand harsh winters and the threat of wildfire with zero maintenance or refinishing. Access to the ski run is built by a steel stair that is gradually buried by the winter snow ultimately providing access directly to the lower level ski entry. Squaw Creek is furnished with glacially smoothed granite boulders and beckons after a soak in the hot tub under the stilted house.

Open to the south sun with a covered deck, the form is peppered with minimal openings to other cardinal points to afford privacy due to the close proximity of the neighbors. Prospect from this site is animated by skiers flying by on the Gold Coast Funitel as they make their way up the mountain.

Reuse of the wood beams utilizes some of the embodied energy of the old cabin and references past experiences through historical markings left from previous connections. The 2,400 square foot, four bedroom cabin sports a full roof deck accessed via ladder. A portion of the deck will house solar panels. Further energy upgrades include triple glazed windows, an enhanced insulation package and radiantly heated floors. At 6,200 feet in elevation, nights are cool which eliminates the need for mechanical cooling.

PROJECT INFO

Type: Residential
Year: In Progress
Location Olympic Valley, CA
Team: Greg Faulkner,
Christian Carpenter,
Jenna Shropshire

Happy Valley Road House

Stretched along a south facing hillside in San Francisco’s East Bay, this permanent residence for a family of four is planned to allow extended visits by family and friends. Arrival by car winds below the house up the slope to a concealed courtyard between the house and hillside. A gradually unfolding entry experience weaves its way back toward the light and view to Mount Diablo through a concrete and glass one story main floor living space. A cedar rain screen clads a second story of family bedrooms.

Energy efficiency is considered via planned 10kw photovoltaic array, geothermal based hydronic heating and cooling systems, and upgraded efficiency levels of glazing, insulation and mechanical systems.

PROJECT INFO

Type: Residential
Year: In Progress
Location Lafayette, CA
Team: Greg Faulkner,
Pete Austin,
Jenna Shropshire,
Gordon Magnin

Black Point Beach House

100 miles north of San Francisco on Highway One, The Sea Ranch is a community originally built in the 1960s as an experiment in building an environmentally sensitive community. Visualized by the Landscape Architect, Lawrence Halprin, development was planned to mesh with the existing land forms and minimize disturbance. Specifically, house parcels were organized within Cypress hedgerow wind breaks planted by ranchers to protect livestock in the early 1900s. Minimal, thematic architecture was used by founding architects, Joseph Esherick and the firm, Moore Lyndon Turnbull Whitaker that responded to wind and sun as initial form givers. An organic, common sense approach allowed the landscape to live and the houses and communal buildings to be built as a settlement based on similar values and construction methods. The houses here appear as weathered boats headed into the wind to minimize its impact.

The sound and feel of the beach break are strong. The property sits on the south side of the hedgerow, protected from the wind and looks across the meadow to the lodge and up to the ridge above Highway One. Adjacent, the original Demonstration Houses designed by Joseph Esherick in 1966, wrap around the hedgerow and back up to the highway. A filtered view exists through and over the Hedgerow Houses up the coast to the north. To the east, a farm stand of conifers planted by Lawrence Halprin remain in a densely packed thicket that creates a screen to the morning sun. Various footpaths lead through the tall grass across the meadow to the south from the neighborhood to Black Point Beach and the Lodge.

The formal vocabulary of the built context has been repeated via a simple rectangular shed with the family level elevated above the sleeping level to maximize views. Sliding Cedar shutters allow the house to be closed on departure, leaving a spare, barn like building. The main roof pitches up to the south like the neighboring houses. Concealed from view, a gravel drive enters under a Cypress along the east property line. Half hidden in the trees, the carport is built with galvanized steel. This allows the thematically consistent wood house to live quietly at the edge of the grassy meadow unencumbered by cars or a driveway. Materials are unfinished cedar, inside and out, frameless windows and zinc roof. From the meadow and Highway One, Black Point Beach House will appear as a simple shed like its neighbors and is designed to be low maintenance and achieve net zero energy usage annually.

Construction planned for fall 2019.

PROJECT INFO

Type: Residential
Year: In Progress
Location Sea Ranch, CA
Team: Greg Faulkner,
Vince Robles,
Jenna Shropshire