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UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections ->
AIA Nevada Design & Service Awards Archive -> 2009 awards -> Private Retreat and Guest Residence


Entry number: B09026
Project Name: Private Retreat and Guest Residence
Building Type: Guest Residence and Outbuilding
Completion Date: July 2006
Building Location: Incline Village, NV
Type of Construction: VB. Poured in place concrete, slab on grade, PT concrete roof slab
Materials Used: Formed concrete, steel, mahogany and glass
Building Area: Guest Residence/Garage -1720 sf, Studio/Library - 2,568 sf

Design Team:
Architecture Firm: Roderick Ashley Architect, Inc
Architect of Record: Roderick Ashley Architect, Inc.
Mrs. Dorothy Lemelson
Landscape Architect: Murase Associates
Structural Engineer: Froelich Consulting Engineers
Civil Engineer: Ferrell Civil Engineering
General Contractor: Corda Construction
Photographer: Stephen Cridland Photographer

Statement of Design Approach:
The compound is one of the smallest structures to be built adjacent Lake Tahoe in recent years. Restraint in design and material selection was paramount to achieving simplicity. Privately owned, the completed work did not need to announce its presence to the lake or the neighborhood. Careful analysis of the site revealed that separating program requirements into two structures would produce less impact. Program elements could function better independently and would have smaller resource demands when not in operation. Because of the immensness of the landscape, separating the buildings as-far-apart as allowed by code, and providing the garden connection, allowed the composition to repsond to the scale of its environment while not overwhelming it. The structures express the hierarchy of the program spaces and a play between solidity and transparency. Materials were chosen to both blend and reinforce the textures and colors found on the site.

The retreat invites individuals wishing to reflect upon the shear joy of imagining and inventing. Designed to accommodate visiting guests, the project also has a library/archive facility that houses collections from the owner’s late husband’s professional life that focused on invention. The “compound” is a simple understated architectural composition which sits lightly upon the site. Two jewel like pavilions mirror one another and are connected by a floating board walk threaded above a gravel sculpture garden and lined with a double allee of Swedish Aspen trees. The two buildings appear as bookends in a composition that reinforces the “conversation” between themselves, and the garden helps to engage the surrounding environment and contain the immediate landscape. Constructed primarily of board-formed poured-in-place concrete that rises from the decomposed granite soil found throughout the site, this gesture compliments the setting and conveys both a sense of solidity and permanence. The roof structure is post-tensioned concrete slabs supported by exposed steel columns. Each structure has a single fully glazed room that houses the primary function. The secondary function is more contained and day lighted through opposing clerestories. Utilitarian functions are contained in concrete walled saddles. Melting snow and rain from the roof cascade down the exposed scupper channels. Non-bearing walls are oiled mahogany siding over steel stud framing. Interior floors are predominately ground and polished concrete, using the same aggregate mix as the exterior walls. Each main space has a wood cabinet and panel wall that separates it from the supporting functions. Exterior patios are the same concrete mix using fractured gravel. The gravel used in the garden is larger in size and has a similar hue as the soil found on-site. Linear LED lighting beneath the boardwalk illuminates an edge and tree trunks at the allee. Site specific artwork and work by friends collected by the owner adorns the buildings and site.

Sustainable Description:
The Tahoe Regional Planning Association’s strict land capability classifications led to siting the individual structures. Originally designed as one building, splitting the program allowed separating vehicular and pedestrian access to the site. Buildings are maximum height allowed. Over one hundred trees were replanted upon completion. No off-site mitigation measures were required to complete this project. Only three trees were removed to construct the project. The allee adjoining the boardwalk is a subtle reminder of the changing of the seasons as leaves turn and eventually fall annually. The gravel used in the sculpture garden acts as an erosion control measure and integrates well with the decomposed granite soil found throughout the site. Indigenous plants were used most everywhere and irrigation will soon not be necessary throughout most of the year. All storm water generated from the project is disposed of on-site. Deep overhangs on the west, east and south elevations shade the building from the intense sun in summer and shield the structure from the heavy snows in winter. Glazing is abundant which allows for excellent day lighting opportunities. Operable windows not only allow for natural ventilation, but allow the lake surf at the beach to be heard – which only adds to the experience of being in this particular place. All windows and doors are custom designed and built in the area. Wood siding, applied over a rain screen system, was milled in the area. Concrete floors were ground and polished as the final flooring material, negating the requirement of another finished floor material. Hydronic radiant heating is embedded in the floors. Tapered roof insulation aids not only in directing water drainage, but adds to the ceiling insulation which ranges from R45 to R97. Low VOC paints, adhesives and sealants were used throughout. No additional night lighting was used at the site other than spillage at the buildings and underneath the walkway. The garden requires minimal upkeep. No enhancements are used on plantings, which is not allowed by properties bordering the lake.



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Material in ASL Library: Form Core Boards, Project Description Form, Exteriors Photos, Location Map, Site Plan, Floor Plan, and Interior Photos

These images are low-resolution reproductions of the images provided for the AIA Nevada Design Awards. All materials should be considered copyrighted and may not be reproduced or used without permission.

Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:50:06 PST