Halls Ridge Knoll Guest House


Halls Ridge Knoll Guest House is located in the Santa Lucia Preserve, a remarkably beautiful, vast landscape that was previously a historic cattle ranch. The rugged and pristine site has a rolling topography, a forest of ancient live Oaks and Manzanita, and offers panoramic views of the San Clemente Mountains and the Los Padres National Forest beyond. The master plan for this vacation retreat puts forth a series of buildings that relate to its ridge-top setting. These buildings include a workshop, guest house, and main residence, each anchored to the land with a series of massive stone walls and fireplace chimneys, marking the passage along the ridge and culminating in a stone court at the future main residence.

The first building constructed on site is the guesthouse, which flanks the winding entry drive and is anchored to the sloping site with a massive stone wall, screening the house and pool. A simple timber-framed shed roof springs from the stone wall, supporting naturally weathered zinc roofing over cedar-clad volumes.

The guesthouse is sited to take advantage of passive design elements of the temperate California climate. Expansive windows provide natural lighting throughout the house, while a broad overhanging roof shades from the intensity of the summer sun. Sliding doors and operable hopper windows throughout the house use the prevailing winds for natural ventilation, while also providing expansive views of the mountain range. Wood flooring in the living space of the house is reclaimed from an old barn structure.

The Halls Ridge Knoll guesthouse is a thoughtful, modernist intervention, carefully detailed in stone, timber, and glass. Designed to choreograph movement along the extraordinary ridge-top site, the guesthouse celebrates its magical surroundings.
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