Striking rural dwelling in California: Paso Robles Residence

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This rural home is nestled on an 80-acre agricultural site in California’s Central Coast wine region of Paso Robles. Paso Robles Residence is a 2,667 square foot weekend home that will eventually become the owner’s full-time residence, designed by San Francisco-based studio Aidlin Darling Design. The design directly responds to the wide diurnal temperature fluctuations of its arid climate.

The architecture firm had to figure out how to create a building that cools itself naturally, even in 115-degree temperatures. Masonry walls anchor the building to the earth and structure the primary living spaces, centering activity around a covered outdoor living room. The design integrates the use of thermal mass, night cooling, orientation, shading, deep overhangs, passive ventilation, photovoltaic electricity, solar hot water, and radiant heat, thus helping to meet the clients’ goal of living in harmony with the local climate.

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The home’s reliance on thermal mass, night cooling, passive solar orientation, shading, and natural ventilation enabled the clients to forgo an active cooling system.

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A covered terrace with a fireplace links the home’s public wing with the pool area, facilitating outdoor dining throughout the year.

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The sandblasted concrete block becomes both an interior and exterior finish material.

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Strong axial relationships establish a connection to the site from every point inside the house.

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Aidlin Darling Design used windows to promote cross-ventilation and to frame carefully chosen views.

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Weathering steel picks up on the landscape’s darker hues.

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Photos: Matthew Millman Photography

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