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Cougar Ridge House

Foregrounding the panoramic views of the Santa Ynez Valley, the Cougar Ridge House is organized as a series of dispersed pavilions connected by an outdoor covered walkway. The 20-acre site is distinguished by the dramatic topographic slope toward the uninterrupted views to the south, east, and west. The varied aspects of the site, centered around preserving the surrounding clusters of native oak trees, determined the main organizing strategy for this single-family residence.

Connecting the main house, guest house, pool cabana, and covered gazebos, is a covered walkway that weaves between the native oak groves, framing views of the distant landscape while following the natural contours of the fields and ridges of the property.

The main house is positioned above the central open field, framed by the surrounding covered walkway. Conceived as two separate pavilions connected by an enclosed glass walkway, the primary internal functions are distributed around three internal glass courtyards. A series of cruciform and T-shaped storage cores organized in the office’s signature “matrix plan”, create perimeter circulation while opening up the communal space to the dramatic Santa Ynez Mountain vistas. A floor to ceiling glass envelope encases the main structures, while to the north, the upper pavilions are excavated into the hillside to create privacy, thermal insulation, and a connection to a below ground wine cave and garage.

Mirroring the dramatic cantilevered branches of the surrounding native oaks, the roof plates are conceived as dramatic mass timer roof umbrella canopies. Constructed of cross laminated timber (CLT), the extended two-way cantilevers slope up toward the views, merging the experience of inside and outside, landscape and architecture in every direction.


Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barabara County, California, US

Single family residence

485 m² / 5,217 sf

Commission, on-going

Noah Fritsch, Andrew Heid, Nanjia Jiang, Xianghui Kong, Chengliang Li, Tsung-Han Lin, Yuedong Lin, Yoki Luo, Praveen Menon, Jennifer Newman, Jianqing Shou, Tracy Tang, Jingjing Wu, Julianna Yang, Shiyin Zeng, Xinglu Zhu

CAM Land Use, Flower Associates,  PleinAire Design Group

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