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Amazing net-zero family retreat merged into the high desert of California

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This net-zero family retreat was designed by Olson Kundig Architects, located in the Tehachapi Mountains of Southern California. Set into the tough, scrubby landscape, Sawmill harnesses the challenges and opportunities of its remote site.

This dwelling emphasizes sustainable strategies and reclaimed materials. Demonstrating that high design can also be high performance, this home functions completely off the grid. The client brief called for a self-sufficient home that maximized connection between architecture and nature, and between family members inside.

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Riffing on the tradition of tents around a campfire, the house is comprised of three wings connected by the central hearth in the living area. Here, a 12-by-26-foot window wall retracts with the turn of a wheel, transforming the outdoor patio into the fourth “tent” around the fire.

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Tough as nails, Sawmill is made from durable materials that can withstand the harsh climate, where fires are a major hazard in summer and winters are extremely cold.

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The design approach was driven by a scavenger mentality, seeking always to do more with less, including using salvaged and reclaimed materials whenever possible.

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Sawmill stands as a testament to high design as an environmental ethic – a structure that connects people to place.

What We Love: This sustainably designed off-the-grid retreat offers a wonderful family getaway surrounded by the rugged California landscape. Modern, clean lines, salvaged and low-maintenance materials create a unique atmosphere in this dwelling. We are loving the roll-up doors that merge the indoors with the outdoors, connecting the family with nature.

Tell Us: Would this net-zero home be your idea of the ultimate family escape? Let us know in the Comments below!

Note: Have a look at a couple of other amazing projects in the Southern California region that we have featured here on One Kindesign: Mid-century coastal home gets a dreamy makeover in Southern California and Modernist haven of concrete and glass overlooking the La Jolla coastline.

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PHOTOGRAPHER Kevin Scott / Gabe Border

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You are reading an article curated by https://onekindesign.com/

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