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Small House in an Olive Grove

Cooper Joseph Studio

Shared By



  • Richardson Architects

Project Status


Year Completed



840 sq. feet

Construction Cost




Room or Space

Living Room




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Project Description

Builder's Choice and Custom Home Awards Finalist

The owners asked for an efficient, off-the-grid, house that would be one with their site. It is a "diamond in the rough," a precisely detailed modern structure on a rustic, agricultural farm.

The 850 square-foot structure is anchored to the steep hillside with a series of retaining walls and cascading exterior decks, each linked to an interior space. This act of at once embracing the hillside and relating inside and outside at every level is an ambitious concept for such a small house, and is also minimally intrusive to the natural topography. The circulation is directed to the views while the fenestration protects from the hot southern sun in favor of soft northern light.

The exterior is predominantly light-grey zinc expressed in horizontal panels with articulated reveals. Stained grey redwood is used for the sun screens, providing a unified and textured facade.
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