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
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