wilson residence


The Wilson residence is located in the Sierra foothills on former cattle-grazing lands near Penn Valley. The knoll top site included a cluster of pines and oaks, a distant view toward the south, and prevailing breezes from the southwest.

The property had been part of a large regional wild fire. Experiencing this fire shortly after purchasing the property led to a desire for fireproof masonry construction. The primary building block for the home is a cement-based insulated block panel, twelve inches in thickness. These blocks are stacked up, and their cores filled with reinforced concrete. Exterior stucco and interior plaster are applied directly to the blocks.

As their retirement home, the Wilsons desired simple detailing and rugged materials for low maintenance. Passive solar and energy efficient design were emphasized in the use of south-facing glass, large overhangs for summer shade, the masonry mass of the wall construction, and a radiant-heated concrete slab. Extensive use of stained/dyed concrete finish was used for both interior floors and exterior patios. The Wilsons refer to their home design as "modern mission", as it reflects the California heritage of masonry buildings and the use of modern materials in an honest fashion.

Some custom design elements include the entry door, an etched glass dividing panel, and an interior patio water garden. Jeff Gold & Associates provided the architectural design and construction management in cooperation with Mark Erickson for this custom residence, completed in 1999.


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