Jackson Family Retreat | Big Sur, CA

A project located at the base of a canyon in the Big Sur area of Northern California, this 2,500 square foot 2 bedroom house was built for a family to enjoy together on the weekends and holidays. +

This retreat, composed of four volumes, is on a site dominated by steep canyon walls. The challenge was creating a structure with weight that still sat lightly on the land, respecting the ecological fragility of the site and being attune to its forces. The Jackson Family Retreat holds its own, neither dominating nor dwarfing the site.

When the owners first commissioned us, local governing agencies were intent on leaving the land as it was-overgrown and uninhabited. However, working with ten consultants over three and a half years, we satisfied all the requirements necessary to build a modernist family retreat here.

The plan explores the tensions inherent in family getaways: open areas for communal living; private spaces for solitary retreats; and outdoor expanses for relaxation. A combination of transparent glass and extruded channel glass reflects and dapples the light throughout, creating a dynamic play of brightness and shadow. family retreat here.

  • Awards:
  • 2006 IIDANC Merit Award
  • 2006 AIAEB Exceptional Residential Honor Award
  • 2005 Record Houses Award
  • 2005 AIA Merit Award
  • 2005 AIACC Honor Award
  • Press:
  • 2016/06 ArchDaily Top 100 American Architecture Project
  • 2013/04 ICON Magazine
  • 2012/12 Contemporist
  • 2012/12 Architizer
  • 2012/12 ArchDaily
  • 2012/09 The New York Times