- Truss Bridge
- Rancho Santa Margarita, California
We considered a number of conventional placements for this large house before determining that the most compelling location was actually over a natural ravine bisecting the site. The ravine, with a dry creek bed at its bottom, describes a vector from the picturesque rock formations above to the distant hills and ocean below. By situating the primary program elements in a bridge, we were able to open them on all sides to unfettered views.
In a reversal of the typical hierarchy of public and private spaces, the delicate form of the bridge contains the public areas, while a more massive volume inhabited by the family spaces is built into the far hillside. Defined by stone walls, exposed heavy timber framing, and a landscaped roof that bleeds into the hillside, the volume is contrasted against the studied simplicity of the bridge with its articulated truss.
At the lowest level, the family spaces open onto a terrace and generous lawns that cascade down to a "lake" that appears to be formed by damming the natural watercourse, but is actually a free-form swimming pool complete with small beach and sun "dock".