A large country kitchen and courtyard for dining, are central features of this beautiful home, which stays comfortable all year with only occasional, minimal heat and no air conditioning.
A small pond was constructed to store run-off from rains without taxing the local creeks, and the grounds were landscaped with drought-resistant plants. A garden off the kitchen provided fresh herbs and vegetables for cooking.
In this classic passive solar design, the sunlight from high south-facing windows is collected by a masonry wall running the width of the building, and also serves to light the study on the north. In summer, the same windows serve to cool the house at night by natural ventilation. The combination of high mass, strawbale insulation and well-placed windows has virtually eliminated the need for any mechanical heating or cooling.
The building features an earth plaster finish from Japan on the exterior, and lime plaster and lime washes on the interior walls.