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Architect Designs An Off-Grid Super House In The Hills of The Californian Coast (House Tour)

Published on 11/12/23 / In How-to & Style

Remote and wild, Off-Grid Residence is an off-grid super house that serves to elevate the ecology of the verdant California ranch it inhabits. Anacapa Architecture honours the home’s ruralness by bringing the sensitively designed dwelling into equilibrium with the landscape, embracing the elements and creating an intimate connection between the inhabitants and the land. Perched atop a knoll situated inside a historic working cattle ranch on the central California coastline, the off-grid super house is the work of Santa Barbara-based studio Anacapa Architecture and co-designer Willson Design. The site is vast and has sweeping vistas of the ocean and rolling hills, and the home sits along a steep ridge, which divides the twin volumes of the garage and the sleeping quarters.Due to building constraints associated with the historical site, the dwelling is fairly simple, with all living areas contained in one main structure with a basic cooking facility and just one bedroom and one bathroom. There are two gardens atop both roof structures of the off-grid super house that include a mix of local grasses and succulents that are consistent with the greenery of the hillsides beyond.The architecture of the off-grid super house was inspired by the vernacular of the architecture found on the cattle ranch. The structure references the concrete of train trestles along the Californian coast and the rusting steel on the gates of the ranch. The material palette holds a similar ruggedness – steel, concrete and glass were the primary materials of choice, mainly for their ability to weather gracefully and earn a gentle patina.Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the off-grid super house is the fact it is eco-friendly – a photovoltaic system was introduced to generate power, as was a water treatment system to direct wastewater to a septic tank and dry well. In this vein, sustainability is a key feature of the home. Radiant floor heating ensures warmth and cross ventilation, and the insulating green roof ensures clement interior temperatures. Revealing a highly sensitive ethos and a unique ability to be at one with nature, Off-Grid Residence allows occupants to feel as if they’re participating with the landscape in a way beyond mere observance, offering a visceral, tangible experience of living.

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