Sustainable architecture meets absolute beauty in the Californian detached house whose name and shape are inspired by the butterflies alighting on the surrounding meadows
This eco-friendly retreat is located in the Santa Lucia Preserve, an 8,000 hectare plot of land, near the town of Carmel, in California. Designed by Feldman Architecture, it is called Butterfly House for two reasons: its shape, a clear reference to the lightness and elegance of the butterflies that, starting from the very first design stages, have approached and occupied the plot where the house rises. From these butterflies the architects took inspiration for the sketches they showed to their clients.
This piece of land is flat enough to accommodate on one level the whole complex, divided into three connected pavilions topped by butterfly roofs. The central pavilion houses the dining, main living and cooking spaces, while the others provide for sleeping, bathing, and relaxing. Indoor and outdoor spaces harmoniously communicate, offering their guests a stunning view of the canyon and the surrounding valleys.
The roofs of the three volumes harvest rainwater, a very precious resource in this area, which is, then, stored and used to irrigate the landscape. The house is characterized by a neutral palette: grey concrete, large glass openings, plywood ceilings, steel structures. The use of concrete and large expanses of glass helps dispersing heat so that the living areas are cool enough during the day and warm enough at night.
The house is also equipped with a solar array that ensures half of its total energy requirements, allowing the clients to have a private house that has minimal impact on the natural surroundings in an area that is apparently difficult to manage from an energetic point of view.
[Text Valentina dalla Costa – Photography Joe Fletcher]