A vacation home designed by Seattle-based company Olson Kundig and built in Oak Creek Canyon for a family that previously lived in Tehachapi has been receiving multiple awards for its innovative design. Known as the "Sawmill House," the structure is designed in such a way that it harnesses the environment and is able to stand independently in the Tehachapi mountain region.
The home is completely off-the-grid and net-zero, taking energy only from its surroundings. The project was completed in 2014 and has received the 2018 American Architecture Association Committee on the Environment Top Ten Award and the 2017 AIA National Housing Honor Award, among others.
Features such as solar panels off from the house, a passive cooling system that utilizes the frequent Tehachapi wind and a heat loop that pulls from the ground are all features that allow the home to "give back to the land, rather than take from it," according to the Olson Kundig website.
The clients of the project had raised their family in Tehachapi, but moved away and wanted the home as a retreat, according to a statement emailed by Olson Kundig.
The house is 4,170 square feet and has three wings that connect at the living room hearth, according to the project description. The name goes back to mining, logging and ranching that happened in the region, and is represented in certain features of the home, such as a wheel that moves a window wall to the patio up and down.
To view more photos of the Sawmill House and for more information, visit the website at www.olsonkundig.com.