Project: Castle Black
Architects: Klopf Architecture
Author: Geoff Campen
Designer: Diana Ruiz
General Contractor: Empire Contracting
Structural Engineer: ZFA Structural Engineers
Location: Sea Ranch, California
Photography: ©2021 Mariko Reed
Completion year: 2020
Courtesy of Klopf Architecture
True artists inspired by socially relevant modern design, architect Geoff Campen and designer Diana Ruiz designed a new minimal, modern, open home they would call their own. It was important that the design of their new house engage closely with the contours and characteristics of the landscape. The former San Francisco city dwellers fell in love with Sea Ranch with its consistency, inventiveness of designs and the careful architectural connections to the land.
The two main factors for the design of the volume are the relationship with the site, and the requirements for structures in The Sea Ranch. A unique site, the forest creates a wall in the back and the view to the ocean is in the front, much of the design came from this interaction. The Castle Black rises and is more vertical amongst the trees, and appears more horizontal in the meadow facing the ocean. The house with its dark stained siding rises upward toward the back where it blends with the pine and redwood forest behind it. The windows and interior spaces also follow the vertical and horizontal orientation. The bedroom loft captures views of the forest through tall vertical windows that mimic the trees outside. A steep sloping roof line flows downward where the living spaces have wider horizontal windows framing the seascape.
A truly open floor plan includes just two enclosed bathrooms while the rest of the flex spaces are divided by a series of curtain systems and separated floors. The functional kitchen wraps around a central core allowing for unobstructed views of the ocean and forest throughout most of the house.
The project is very energy efficient, and uses high performance windows/glass, spray foam insulation, hydronic radiant heating in the concrete slab, and high efficiency water heating. Additionally, the house is prepped for solar panels.
The simple palette of materials that contributed to the house are dark stained siding, white oak paneling and cabinets, raw steel trim, exposed concrete floor, lastly white painted walls. The simplicity and natural finish of the materials connects well to the surrounding environment. The dark stained siding which extends into the interior ceiling allows the house to minimize its visual impact and blend into the shadow line of the surrounding trees.
Castle Black stands proudly epitomizing and bounding landscape and architecture in The Sea Ranch, developed beginning in the 1960s and known for its distinctive timber-frame structures designed and planned by several noted American architects.