Layered with intense geologic history at the base of a three-million-year-old volcano, the Lookout House by Faulkner Architects in Truckee, California, rests along a north-facing 20-degree slope with equal parts refuge and prospect at 6,300 feet above mean sea level.
Heavily influenced by its site, the area’s natural Jeffrey Pine and White Fir trees provide a constant reference to the perpendicular horizon in the distance, whilst the incorporation of red-orange glass along its exterior suggests the colour of cooling magma, referencing the site’s geology and offering a warm approach.
Insulated by 20-inch-thick concrete walls made from local sand and aggregate, the Lookout House features floor to ceiling openings with structurally glazed sliding doors, and walls which extend beyond the confines of the residence and unto the slope with a ten-foot-wide to allow sloped grade to pour into the building form.
Constructed sustainably, the architects prioritized energy retention through their choice of materials and systems. Utilizing fire-resistant and low maintenance, mass-heavy concrete walls and radiantly heated stone floors, alongside an R80 insulated roof, enhanced glazing, and high-efficiency mechanical and lighting equipment, the Lookout House is able to effortlessly minimize energy loss and use.