The Aptos Retreat is a 2,800 square foot home away from home designed for a family of eight, with what the architect calls a “living” building and a “sleep” building that overlap at their roofs to create a sheltered outdoor space.”
Sited in the Santa Cruz Mountains, near the city of Santa Cruz, this 20-acre site has mountain and ocean views, even though it sits about five miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. The family wanted a casual, rustic setting that would incorporate sustainable features to minimize the home’s carbon footprint and to have a place for fun, and games … partying, cooking, tanning, swimming, archery, horseshoes, gardening and wood splitting. The 2800-square-foot Main House houses both the ‘live building’ and the ‘sleep building,’ with the sleep building nestled under the higher roof of the live building.
The live building contains the dining, living, and kitchen areas, plus a master suite upstairs. The central kitchen anchors the main space, which is flanked by dining and living. The kitchen island is eighteen feet long and crafted of a three-inch thick single walnut slab cut from a fallen tree. Fronting the living space are two, triple sets of eight by ten-foot sliding glass doors—32-feet-wide when fully opened—that open the space to the yard and the views.
The smaller sleep building, with two bedrooms and a shared bathhouse, angles out to form an L-shaped yard. In addition, there’s The Barn, a 1600-square-foot, Corten rusted steel warehouse outfitted for use as the “clubhouse.” The first floor is set up for ping pong and large-screen TV watching, while the loft level is set up with a billiard table and sofa beds all around for additional slumber party needs.
The house and barn sit on the sloped meadow surrounded by redwood trees with distant ocean views to the south. The swimming pool is below the main house, with a fire-pit to the side; an archery range is above the house, and the horseshoe pit is between the house and the barn. There are two tent cabins set among the redwoods and serve as guest houses, with a sauna located between the tents and the sleep building.
As long as I can stay in the house, I’m all in …
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