A stunning modern green build design that compliments its environment in every way, with curved walls and big kitchen/living room windows looking out onto a forest glade.
The house combines the very best of modern European and green Californian design in this peaceful location outside Santa Cruz. It's an incredible living space combining rich local timber and natural materials. An ideal place to unwind right on the doorstep of nature and yet close to all the facilities and entertainments of Santa Cruz.
Master bedroom: King size bed and walk-in closet.
En-suite master bathroom with claw foot tub, toilet and sink,
Kids bedroom: Bunk beds (will also fit adults)
2nd bedroom: Queen bed in upstairs loft room reached by spiral staircase.
2nd bathroom with spacious shower, toilet and sink.
Washing machine and dryer
Kitchen with dishwasher, fridge, microwave and large oven.
wood burning stove
Green deck and garden area with over 2 acres of redwood groves.
Under floor radiant heating throughout
Brand new green build
The house was built under some of the most stringent environmental codes in the USA. Both cutting edge and ancient building methods were employed to minimize the house’s impact on the environment and maximize heating efficiency.
Wherever possible, local, natural and recycled products have been used to build the house, including:
• Locally sourced, properly managed redwood and fir lumber
• Zero-emission products
• Recycled cotton insulation
• Straw bale wall insulation
• Radiant floor heating
• Efficient passive solar design
• Recycling of rainwater for garden
• Native plants in landscaping.
• Wood stove supplied with 100% site-grown wood.
The house sits in its own 2 acre garden comprising of open spaces, deciduous forest and redwood groves.
I was born in London and have worked in the media industry there since leaving university in 1994. I am married with three kids.
While on holiday in the Santa Cruz mountains in 2006 I fell in love with the area - the landscape, biology, people and climate. Like most Europeans my image of redwoods was one of giant 4000 year old trees confined to nature reserves and parks. It wasn't until I visited the area that I discovered residential neighborhoods among smaller but no less impressive trees.
My ambition to own a house in this amazing region wasn't limited to just buying one. I wanted to build one from scratch.
Over the course of many trips to the area from London I eventually found a perfect plot of land: wooded with a mix of Redwood, Oak, Fir and Madrone with a natural clearing on the crest of a hill . It was not too wild a place; there was a road and power line along one side plus lovely neighbors at a discrete distance- but at the same time it was far enough from urban areas to give it a wonderful stillness and peace.
With an architect friend who trained in Austria and worked in Big Sur under Mickey Muenning I devised a plan to use the latest green building techniques, materials and design concepts from California and Europe to build a unique house.
As it turned out, Santa Cruz county has some of the most stringent environmental laws for new builds and getting the planning permission alone took two years of exhaustive surveys and environmental impact studies.
Things really came together when we found our contractor Karl Bareis, He lives locally and knows the area inside out. He was able to translate the bold curved wall and big window design into a practical reality and at the same time bring his years of working in Japan and exhaustive knowledge of wood to create a house uniquely in tune with the land on which it is built.
I was never a fan of 'boxy' houses in natural surroundings. It was always my ambition to build a house that blended with its natural surroundings in an organic way. With the impressive scale of the redwoods it was also paramount that the house had windows big enough to bring the wonder of the location into the living space.
The colors of the walls and interiors were designed as well to blend with the environment, so earth tones are prevalent. The idea was to make the house feel like something that had grown from its environment, not imposed upon it.
Every material selected for the building of the house was done so on this criteria. No artificial chemical or preservative-emitting materials have been used and wherever possible locally produced natural materials were sourced, including some recycled from surprising places. The insulation within the interior walls for example, is cotton from recycled blue jeans and the back wall is insulated with straw bales from rice plants. The kitchen counter top is made from a new material called EcoTop, made from compressed recycled paper bonded together with resin.
The result is a house that combines the latest green technology with centuries-old passive solar design principles to make a uniquely relaxing place to stay.
The road the house is situated on winds uphill through dense redwood forest, reaching a height of 415 meters (1360 ft) above sea level. At the top the road loops around the crest of a hill and the house is situated on 2 acres of mixed redwood, oak and clearing that runs across the center of the loop, just below the highest point of the hill. No neighbors are visible from the windows of the house. The house is bordered by protected land, including the Bonny Doon nature reserve whose hiking trails begin 5 minutes walk from the house. Being a road that is not subject to through traffic it is an exceptionally peaceful area
Named by Scots who arrived here in the 1850s to build the logging railroad and also named other areas nearby: Ben Lomond, Bonny Brae, Loch Lomond. (Incidentally, the logging railroad is still there and offers regular steam train rides.) Bonny Doon is an attractive and much sought after neighborhood and many residents have been there for decades. It features several wineries, a church, two fire stations, a lavender farm, Bonny Doon Elementary School and a private-use airport. The principal local industries are wine and horses. The climate is mild, with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers. The climactic zone is Mediterranean. The area benefits from proximity to the ocean (10 beaches within 15 minutes drive, many uncrowded and secluded) and access to all the facilities of Santa Cruz, 20 minutes drive away. Closer to the house (11 mins drive), the historic coastal town of Davenport has cafes, restaurants and a grocery store.
A laid back seaside town with a university and a long history of surfing and environmental responsibility. There’s a farmer’s market every Wednesday. The first mile of highway 1 that goes through the town has a supermarket (Safeway), drug store, shops, along with some pretty good and cheap places to eat. In town there’s interesting shops, the farmer's market and the famous seafront Boardwalk with rides and other attractions.
Activities in the Santa Cruz area:
Cafes and bars
Utilities (launderette, banks, Fedex etc)
Entertainments and Cultural
- mystery spot
- roaring creek railroad
- Santa Cruz boardwalk
- Monterey Aquarium
- Big Sur
- Whale watching
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event||Minimum Stay|
|Refundable damage deposit||$500.00|
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay. Payment is usually accepted in the quoted currency (USD) unless the currency and the amount is specifically agreed in advance with the owner / advertiser.
Learn more about this vacation rental at the owner's website: