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The Sea Ranch, California
Mark R. Blubaugh, architect
Thrusting out of an ancient sea cliff, the Blubaugh Residence represents a rock outcropping that provides a commanding viewpoint above the surrounding terrain. The driveway and garage are cut into the hillside, while a series of ascending roof planes terminates in the roof of the loft, providing a second floor within a sixteen foot height limit. An entry sequence incorporating decreasing volumes of space through a courtyard, roofed bridge, semi-enclosed porch and diminutive entry vestibule allows the largely contiguous interior of this 1,300 square foot house to feel spacious. The master bedroom, study and second floor loft provide three defined sleeping areas. Clerestory windows, indirect florescent cove lighting and wall sconces allow a bright, softly lighted interior during day or night.
Major Considerations: The house includes many green building features. The design is a "passive solar" design, with large areas of glass facing the ocean to the south and southwest. Regulations prohibiting roof overhangs meant that the house would receive a large amount of solar gain at all times of the year. Use of tile pavers set on one-inch mortar throughout provides a thermal mass to absorb some of this heat and re-radiate it during the night. Operable clerestories combined with awning windows located at the bottom of several view windows provide ”chimney effect” ventilation to remove excess heat. The primary back-up heat source is renewable wood used in a certified wood stove. The design needed to strictly adhere to the requirements of the Sea Ranch Design Review Committee.