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Gold Country Residence by CCS Architecture

By • Feb 22, 2012


New York city-based studio CCS Architecture has designed the Gold Country Residence.

Completed in 2009 for a total budget of $350,000, this 1,750 square foot, single story, contemporary home is located outside the town of Murphys, California, USA.

Gold Country 01 1 800x1195 Gold Country Residence by CCS Architecture

Gold Country 01 800x535 Gold Country Residence by CCS Architecture


Gold Country Residence by CCS Architecture:

“This 1750-square-foot, off-the-grid residence in the California Gold Country, outside the town of Murphys, was designed as a summer and winter vacation house for a San Francisco couple with two young children. The home is divided into “live” and “sleep” buildings, each about 875 square feet, which are sited to capture views. The gap between the buildings funnels breezes from the valley below. The courtyard is a calm, encompassing space for relaxation and play.

The house is remotely sited, quite far from the local utility grid. Satellite Internet access allows the couple to telecommute when desired and spend longer periods of time in the country. The client is a residential developer who does low- to moderate-income housing in the Bay Area.

CCS Architecture designed the sustainability program in collaboration with the client. The features include:

  • Structural slabs contain radiant heat.
  • Large overhangs that provide maximum shade in summer and allow passive heat gain and daylight during winter.
  • Windows and skylights with insulated, low-e glass; all are operable to admit maximum air ventilation during the summer for cooling. Opened at night, the windows allow cooler air to push heat out of the house. They are closed during the day to keep the house cool.
  • The home’s walls and roof are structurally insulated panels (SIPs), which not only are “structural” but have high insulative value, significantly higher than conventional construction.
  • Larger, north-facing windows that provide maximum daylight without heat gain during summer; large southern overhangs minimize heat gain.
  • Overhangs and arbor roofs have foil backing to reflect hot summer sun and also have solar vent fan to vent heat, keeping open exterior space underneath cool.
  • Energy provided by 24 PV panels with battery storage and backup propane generator.
  • Heating is provided by hydronic radiant when needed (powered by propane boiler) and by one high-efficiency wood burning stove in the “live” building.
  • Water is obtained through an on-site well-–pumped uphill to storage tank by photovoltaics and gravity-fed to house.
  • Siding and underside of soffits is natural cedar with penetrating oil.
  • Paints are low VOC and flooring material is polished concrete with rugs.”


Photos by: Brendan P Macrae, Cass Smith

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2 Comments to Gold Country Residence by CCS Architecture

  1. RonH Architect says:

    Totally uninspired!!!!!
    Look at this beautiful site with no neighbors and this is the best they can do? The interiors could care less what site they’re on because they’re just boxes with holes cut out for windows.
    I’m sorry but this is like a commercial architect trying to do a residence for the first time………..the living, dining kitchen spaces are very cramped due to the architects rigid format when they had all the room in the world and why didn’t these spaces celebrate the views?…………….. this building looks like a elementary school prototype (maybe prefab) from the 50’s ……..just expand the bldg wings and the playground gets bigger…………….no heart.

  2. christina says:

    I have the feeling that they are trying to sell this since they ‘ve built it…

    Interior and architectural design is like are came from cheap – cold – summer – holiday apartment (I started believe that this is a comment – catcher tour.

    Views (through ugly windows) destroyed.

    Property destroyed.

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