Launch Slideshow

Private Retreat and Guest Residence, Incline Village, Nev.

Private Retreat and Guest Residence, Incline Village, Nev.

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    Stephen Cridland

    The studio/archives pavilion mirrors a guest cottage 240 feet away, overlooking Lake Tahoe.

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    Stephen Cridland

    The studio entrance. Each structure contains a single floor-to-ceiling glazed room and storage components in clerestoried adjacent areas.

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    Stephen Cridland

    Natural materials—mahogany, concrete, and glass—blend into the setting.

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    Stephan Cridland

    Polished brown concrete floors, mahogany built-ins, and exposed-aggregate concrete decks reinforce the colors and textures found on the site.

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    Stephen Cridland

    The guest house faces the archives pavilion across a boardwalk and a Swedish aspen allee.

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    Stephen Cridland

    Guest house entry. The two-pavilion composition fits the scale of its environment better than a single larger building.

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    Stephen Cridland

    The guest pavilion’s transparent room overlooks the lake. Viewed from the water, the buildings almost disappear into the trees.

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    Stephen Cridland

    Restrictive zoning on the lake edge limited building area coverage. Basins buried under the gravel sculpture garden help keep all the storm water on site.

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    Stephen Cridland

    The buildings are oriented toward views of Lake Tahoe.

Distinctive buildings often emerge from unusual sites or design briefs, and this commission presented both. Asked to design an archive and guest house adjacent to the client’s home overlooking Lake Tahoe, Roderick Ashley came up with mirror-image buildings that are barely noticeable from the lake.

“We pictured the composition as two hands spread far apart, containing this whole site but not devouring it,” Ashley says. The low-slung buildings appear as bookends connected by an aspen allee and a raised boardwalk that threads through a gravel sculpture garden. Separating the project into smaller components allowed it to be built without code adjustments, as did the choice of natural materials that blend with the wooded surroundings. The buildings are made of board-formed concrete, with sapele mahogany used on the overhangs and as a rainscreen on non-bearing walls. Roofs are post-tensioned concrete slabs supported by exposed steel columns on the inside and outside. Interior walls feature rough or sawn concrete and wood paneling, and the polished ground-concrete aggregate floors resemble terrazzo.

“Two sides of the buildings are solid, so on approach you’re not seeing much, but when you come in there’s a lot of exposure to the view and the room across the way,” Ashley says. “You can control the lights from both buildings.” A judge noted that the project “blends the formality of an edge with the natural world beyond. It applies order to nature without feeling forced.”


Entrant/Architect: TVA Architects, Portland, Ore.; Builder: John Corda Construction, Tahoe City, Calif.; Landscape designer: Murase Associates, Portland; Living space: 1,700 square feet (studio/library), 918 square feet (guest residence/garage); Site: 4.96 acres; Construction cost: Withheld; Photographer: Stephen Cridland Photographer.


Resources: Bathroom fittings: Dornbracht, www.dornbracht.com; Cooktop: Dacor, www.dacor.com; Dishwasher: Asko, www.askousa.com; Garbage disposer: Insinkerator, www.insinkerator.com; Hardware: Baldwin, www.baldwinhardware.com; Kitchen fittings: Dornbracht, www.dornbracht.com; Lighting fixtures: Iris, www.irisdesignstudio.com; Oven: Thermador, www.thermador.com; Paints/stains/wall finishes: Donald Kaufman, www.donaldkaufmancolor.com; Refrigerator: Sub-Zero, www.subzero-wolf.com; Skylights/roof windows: Velux, www.veluxusa.com