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A weeHouse in the Mountains

It's been a long and winding road for this weeHouse, but finally, it has landed! The Palomar Mountain weeHouse, originally seen at Dwell on Design in 2007, is home on its very own pier foundation nestled amid glorious evergreens and sweeping views.

Originally scheduled to be prefabricated completely in factory, this weeHouse ended up needing a significant amount of on-site button up labor, too. The specs have all remained the same from the weeHouse MEDIUM it was designed to be, but due to delays outside the control of the clients, architects, and general contractor including a factory closing and very complicated site-work, it was stored for over a year in-between its perch at Dwell and its home outside of San Diego.

Alchemy knows from experience that it takes a mighty fine trio of client + contractor + architect to complete a weeHouse. weeThanks them all for their skill, patience, and tenacity to make it a go-go.

Green BarnHouse by Alchemy continuing to grow . . .

This just in: new client picture from the Blair BarnHouse in Wisconsin! As noted previously, Alchemy designed this home to be modern and old simultaneously, sustainable without having to pick the granola out of your teeth, and highly crafted with significant detailing.

This will serve as a home for the clients as they redo the existing farm house on the property, and then become a guest house/studio (eventually ... if the clients decide to move out!). It was conceived as a modern Barn + House ... a theme that Alchemy has explored before due to the vernacular here in the Midwest. One interesting feature is a barn-siding inspired rain screen that envelops the whole house. It is held out about 8" from the thermal wall and wraps around the west end to shade the setting sun and form an open-air porch. The boards are about 1" apart and a laid in such a way to provide that Barn-interior light that is so seductive. Siding sub-framing exists for various water and sun-management reasons while recalling decrepit rural structures.

It will be extremely energy efficient: geothermal heating plant, partial below ground siting (think: Barn), in-floor heating (slab, poured, and staple-up), spray foam insulation into staggered stud framing, high levels of insulation, passive solar with great views and openness despite a modest glass exposure. Materials are supplied largely locally, and are selected for character and sustainability (of course!). This home will have rainwater capture.

The overall finished SF is about 1800 SF. The above-ground Barn space is composed as a single volume with a steel box and and an ash-offcut box "inserted" into it to house the good stuff.

One of the clients is a furniture craftsman and will be building many of the special pieces. We'll be sharing additional photos!