Suspension House

2023 Architecture Honor Award

This comprehensive remodel of an existing house set over a rushing creek considers the relationship between human habitation and nature, and how the two can co-exist in greater harmony. The design re-conceives the relationship between structure, water and land, taking care to restore and protect the exceptional site while creating a home with a deep connection to the environment.

Following strict guidelines, the remodel retains 50% of the existing wood structure. A steel frame inserted beneath the original floors anchors the home to the rocky hillsides, thus allowing for the meticulous removal of the original supporting columns set within the creek bed.

To create transparency across the slender house, just only 21 feet wide on the lower floors, we added new windows and door openings and filled in others. These live/work floors stay studiously within the confines of the original building; yet the minimal glass volumes, steeped in the surrounding beauty, feel more expansive than ever. A two-bedroom, third-floor addition strikes a more slender profile facing east, to engage the breadth of the site. The experience is one of being in nature and also humbled by it.

We worked closely with our structural engineer to realize a solution with minimal impact on the site. The structure is anchored at just six points and care was taken to protect the creek during construction. The landscape restoration minimized grading and reintroduced native plant species to help control erosion, boost fire and drought resiliency, and support native birds, insects and other fauna.

Fougeron Architecture

General Contractor
Barry Builders

Adobe Associates, Inc.

Endres Studio

Rockridge Geotechnical

Ground Studio

WRA Environmental Consultants

Joe Fletcher