An unbuilt site with a large hill facing south and overlooking natural woodlands proved to be a perfect setting for this new 8,000 sf organic and eclectic contemporary residence. The client, a renewable energy executive, required two major things: A fossil free lifestyle and a large collection library. An organic concept evolved to build into and around the hillside, allowing maximum southern sun for passive solar gain and solar panel power generation. From this starting point, a unique structure emerged made up of separate buildings, much like an Italian hill town.

At one end of the house is the two story library with soaring double height windows and extensive bookshelves on two levels. Adjacent is a tower with stucco walls housing the master bedroom suite. Next, is a single story form with entry foyer, stair and family room, that melds into the pentagonal sun room with three sides of glass. The sun room acts as a pivot at the bend in the building. Next is the two story structure with kitchen, garage and kid’s bedrooms. The large entry and stair hall, in the middle, acts as the joint linking major elements. This careful assemblage of elements creates the overall effect of a village on a hill.

The geometry of each roof was designed for the extensive array of thermal and photovoltaic panels, with thin film on the sloped roofs and panel type on the flat roofs. The most heavily used first floor rooms are shielded in the summer by deep roof overhangs. There is a geothermal heating and cooling system, all triple glazed windows and doors, LED lighting throughout, structural insulated roof panels (SIPs), advanced wall framing with water-blown spray foam and a continuous layer of exterior rigid insulation. This residence is Energy Star Qualified with a HERS score of 25.