Sunland House

Three lots are combined to make one 24,000 sq.ft. pacel with old growth oak trees are the defining element of the site.

Given the natural setting of the lot, the design of the house focuses on bringing the exterior into the interior.

This is done in a few ways:

Materials: Wood is used extensively throughout at the interior and the exterior – primarily western red cedar although the floors are ash because of the durability.

Scale: The size of the lot is reflected by the interior volume of the living areas of the house.  Scale begets scale.

Wrapping: The interior of the house extends to the outside where the decks wrap around the existing trees.  This is as much out of necessity (the trees are protected) as it is a desire to integrate day to day living into the canopy of the existing woodland.


Wood everywhere.

Ceramic tile roof imported from Japan.

To avoid complete monotony of using wood absolutely everywhere the bedrooms and bathrooms were finished in drywall and white ceramic tile.  Only by providing this break is one able to appreciate the living areas which have wood on every surface.  The decision to treat these surfaces with one material comes from the client’s interest in the abstract.  It succeeds in being abstract because no matter how you look at the interior (say by rotating a photograph) it doesn’t alter your perspective of the space.  (imagine rotating Mondrian’s famous Composition – it’s more or less the same artifact)


The exterior is painted Matte black.  This is another attempt at abstraction.  The color black typically toys with our expectations about residential typology.  It’s not a common choice for houses, yet it surprisingly blends into the surrounding woodlands.