I don’y know why but every time I see this type of house it remind me of those fairy tale houses. In the middle of the forest or in an mountain landscape. Designed by WA Design Inc, the Tahoe Ridge house is located on one of the last large parcels in the Tahoe area. Eight acres of land with dense stands of white and red fir slope upward to the rocky granite ridge crest that forms a backstop to this exceptional site. This was the second home we had designed for the clients, the first being the Strathmoor House, also in this book. The usual period of getting acquainted was already in place for the Tahoe Ridge House. Our design aesthetics and goals were aligned at the onset to conceive of a contemporary building uniquely rooted in the Tahoe area and the spectacular site.
Vernacular mining and stamp mill buildings in the Tahoe area inspired the design of this home. Long before Tahoe was a ski resort, it was a gold rush destination. Tall stamp mills were used to pulverize hard rock into fine silt from which the gold could be removed. All movement of material within the mill was achieved by gravity hence the structures are characteristically elongated vertically. On the interior of the home, large recycled timbers and heavy metal bracketing extend the industrial aesthetic and resist the substantial snow loads of winter. Large Sierra White granite blocks are carved and hewn to form the fireplace hearths. The building throughout is clearly rooted in and derived from its mountainous site. A large male black bear has lived in the boulders above the house for many years and remains undaunted by recent construction, occasionally strolling unhurriedly down the new entry drive. If you like this house or don’t, either way, leave a comment and tell us about it.