Fall House sits comfortably on the top of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Carmel Valley Village, California, USA. Designed by Fougeron Architecture, the home is wrapped in glazings to take advantage of the panorama and steps down from the Social zone to a private sitting area and finally down to the Master Suite. Each level is open to the next and yet completely private from the next. Partial height walls ensure direct view lines through the home to the horizon while at the same time obstructing views down to each of the lower levels.
The home is located on a desolate bluff with the only access via the highway nearby. Even though the home is just a few 100 meters from the busy road, the location creates the sense of being far removed from civilization.
With the home perched on the edge of the bluff, lets hope the name “Fall House” has more to do with the seasons then with gravity.
Aside from the stunning ocean views, the landscape is pretty spectacular itself. It really is hard to believe there is a highway nearby.
To have this as your backyard would be pretty special.
The views can be seen from every vantage point and with the 3 levels stepping down the embankment; the intrusion of the building’s volume on the site is minimal, while the choice of natural board and batten siding allows the building to blend out from a distance.
The entry leads into a foyer area partially closed off by a floating wall that acts as a backdrop to a large canvas of two people enjoying an afternoon in the forest.
The trees within the canvas are as though they are a continuation of the trees seen through the foyer window. Through the living room window, a terrace with a fire bowl extends the living space of the home for that sought after indoor outdoor lifestyle.
The terrace is comprised of a concrete deck backed by a concrete retaining wall and while the concrete surfaces present hard, cold lines, the lush forest that surrounds the terrace is anything but. Can you imagine sitting by the glow of an evening fire, surrounded by the sounds of nature with stars above, trees behind and ocean in front? Wow.
Back in side and just past the living zone is the diining area and just past that is the kitchen. The dining area features an indoor fireplace and a second outdoor sitting area.
The further into the home you go, the more powerful the ocean influence becomes and with the architects use of steel and glazings, there is only a wall of glass separating you from the Pacific Ocean – oh yes, there’s the cliff too.
The terrace outside the dining area extends the length of the kitchen and this defines the edge of the first floor volume. From here there is a level change to a small, more private sitting area one floor down.
The lower sitting area has its own fireplace encased within a wall that offers privacy to the bathroom one more level down. While there is no direct view outward from the building, the sides both offer ocean views with a little cliff added in for perspective.
There is an outdoor seating area attached to this level as well. This seating area is far more relaxed and casual with its grassy platform and shade providing trees. This outdoor area also exposes one of the few none glazing walls used on the exterior of the building. The board and batten used on the volume lower then and next to the private sitting room offers privacy to the bathroom within.
While the bathroom has privacy on one exterior wall, it is still open to the sitting area via a floor to ceiling window on one side and this window offers a voyeur peak to the glass surround of the tub below.
The bathtub is ½ tempered glass and ½ mosaic tile. Pretty awesome.
A wall of storage separates the bathroom from the Master Bedroom.
The Master Bedroom is the lowest and furthest point of the Fall House. Although the room is wrapped in glazings, there is not much chance of anyone peaking in; the steep and rocky terrain of the site makes sure of that.