FOUR-SEASON MOUNTAIN RETREAT WHERE CALIFORNIA MODERNISM MEETS ALPINE VERNACULAR

When the weather is warmer, the motorized sliding doors retract to draw the family out onto an expansive courtyard with a hidden plunge pool and a separate terrace with an outdoor lounge.

By Balthazar Malevolent

FOUR-SEASON MOUNTAIN RETREAT WHERE CALIFORNIA MODERNISM MEETS ALPINE VERNACULAR

Located outside Truckee, a logging town turned pleasant mountain retreat just north of Lake Tahoe in California, Lookout House offers, as its name implies, panoramic views of the surrounding natural scenery due to the steeply sloping terrain, with the greatest benefit being that you can ski straight into it. The morphology and geological history of the site persuaded California-based practice Faulkner Architects to design a contemporary family house in dialog with the natural beauty of its surroundings. Putting together California modernism with the alpine vernacular, the house is a four-season retreat that pays homage both through its thoughtful architecture and sustainability emphasis to its glorious mountainside location.

Discreetly perched on the steep hillside between volcanic basalt rocks and tall White Fir and Jeffrey Pine trees whose trunks have been stripped bare from years of heavy snowfall, the 650 square meter family house evolves as a cubist arrangement of low-slung volumes that evokes "the feeling of a smaller ski lodge," as architect Greg Faulkner puts it.

Comprising three separate zones - common areas, the family's private quarters and a guest area - the house is built around a central axis that parallels the ski run on the east side of the property while allowing the family to ski directly into the living room through a narrow slot cutting through the structure.

Following the cue of the exterior, the interiors are swathed in reclaimed walnut panels, with exposed concrete walls and flamed basalt floors, the latter representing the volcanic geology of the region, as is the column of red-orange glass at the center of the building, referring to the color of the cooling magma.

With some of Tahoe's best ski resorts nearby – the nearest ski lift is only a few hundred meters away – and with plenty of outdoor sports to choose from, such as rafting, surfing, rock climbing and mountain biking, the house is a true all-year escape.

In other news, Helmut Lang has finally launched its first eyewear partnership with Berlin-based brand MYKITA after debuting the sunglasses at its SS20 runway show back in September 2019. The set consists of two styles that deconstruct the concept of a wraparound sunshield into four individual elements, the HL001 and HL002. Contrasting lens colors like neon pink and orange, are the reference key colors from Helmut Lang's SS20 runway show.

California Modernism Meets Alpine Vernacular in a Four-Season Mountain Retreat by Faulkner Architects.California Modernism Meets Alpine Vernacular in a Four-Season Mountain Retreat by Faulkner Architects.California Modernism Meets Alpine Vernacular in a Four-Season Mountain Retreat by Faulkner Architects.California Modernism Meets Alpine Vernacular in a Four-Season Mountain Retreat by Faulkner Architects.California Modernism Meets Alpine Vernacular in a Four-Season Mountain Retreat by Faulkner Architects.California Modernism Meets Alpine Vernacular in a Four-Season Mountain Retreat by Faulkner Architects.
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