Exterior view.
Bruce Damonte Exterior view.

Mork-Ulnes Architects  

The concept for this northern California house is all about response to its exceptional site. An Arcadian retreat nestled in a grove of remarkably picturesque oaks, it has been quite literally shaped by the three locally known land formations to be seen from its site: Eagle Rock, a mountain range, and a valley of vineyards. 

To allow occupants to savor views of these three different land forms, the house's plan consists primarily of three arms extending in different directions, placed to avoid sacrificing a single existing tree; each arm is oriented to frame a distinct view. To permit construction without severing tree roots, the house is supported on steel stilts sleeved into concrete piers.

The spaces in the two arms occupied by sleeping areas can be closed off or integrated into the fluid interior by opening doors on either side of their compact closet–lavatory blocks. A fourth, smaller arm (more like a thumb) accommodates an entry and a bath. Juror Joel Sanders observed that "floating above the earth" is an effective site-specific strategy here. Josh Shelton was happy there were no platforms for outdoor living spread among the trees, observing that the one narrow deck off the main living area provides "a perfect stoop where you could sit."

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Bruce Damonte Entrance.

Moose Road Reisdence, designed by Mork-Ulnes Architects.
Bruce Damonte Moose Road Reisdence, designed by Mork-Ulnes Architects.

Living area.
Bruce Damonte Living area.

Bruce Damonte Bedroom.

Bruce Damonte Kitchen.


Courtesy Mork-Ulnes Architects

Project Credits

Project  Moose Road Residence, Ukiah, Calif.
Architect  Mork-Ulnes Architects, San Francisco—Casper Mork-Ulnes, AIA
General Contractor  Crossgrain Co.—Stephen Ottmer
Photography  Bruce Damonte
Project Size  1,150 square feet
Construction Cost  $190 per square foot

Materials and Sources

Bathroom Fittings  Hansgrohe hansgrohe-usa.com;  Kohler kohler.com
Bathroom Fixtures  Kohler kohler.com
Countertops  Paperstone paperstoneproducts.com
Doors  Panda Windows and Doors www.panda-windows.com
Exterior Siding  Standing seam metal panels
Flooring  SEMCO-coated OSB
Kitchen Cabinets  Custom (fronts); Ikea (cabinets) ikea.com