A concrete and steel house in California designed by Faulkner Architects

Creek house designed by Faulkner Architects is located in Truckee, California
Creek house designed by Faulkner Architects is located in Truckee, California.
(Image credit: Joe Fletcher Photography)

Faulkner architects has designed a family retreat for a hard-working AIDS researcher based in New York City. The home, which is immersed in the natural landscape of Truckee in California, intends to bring restorative calm upon its inhabitants, prioritising closeness with nature and leaving raw materials exposed.

‘Don’t hurt the boulders’, said the client, who wanted the house to be gentle on its environment and respectful as possible to its site – a former flood field on the edge of an evergreen forest that meets with a spring-fed creek at the base of a dormant volcano. Consequently, the home cantilevers over boulders and trees grow close to its boundaries. Its exterior is surrounded by small patios and a pebble-lined pool encouraging an easy outdoor existence upon its inhabitants.

The interior spaces are layered and almost modular, connecting large private spaces with smaller communal areas – the house prioritises privacy for its inhabitants, a multi-generational family, yet it is also democratic – each member of the client’s family contributed ideas for the design of the house.

An interactive tour of Creek House

(Image credit: TBC)

Take an interactive tour of Creek House

The circulation of the plan allows movement from quieter darker spaces, to lighter exposed moments such as the spaces where floor to ceiling glazing opens up views of dark green evergreen trees or the surrounding rocky landscape. The architects were inspired by Junichiro Tanizaki’s essay ‘In Praise of Shadow’ with the architectural progression between dark and light.

Exposed and often raw materials include steel, rift-sawn oak, bluestone and white gypsum. The whole house pivots on a large concrete wall, that extends beyond the walls of the house, out into the landscape. The device provides the client with privacy desired as well as shading the house and the exterior spaces from the sun.

Exterior view of Creek house designed by Faulkner Architects

The sprawling house was designed as a restorative retreat for a New Yorker.

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher Photography)

Views of concrete platforms and the pool outside the Creek House by Faulkner Architects

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher Photography)

Around the exterior of the house concrete platforms and a pebble-lined pool encourage outdoor living. The architects were inspired by a pool they had seen in Spain that was fed by rainwater through a channel that could be opened and closed. 

Exterior view of Creek House by Faulkner house in California

The modules of the house were designed for the client’s multi-generational family.

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher Photography)

Creek House by Faulkner Architects is on the edge of an evergreen forest

The south-facing site sits at the edge of an evergreen forest, meeting a spring-fed creek at the base of an ancient volcano.

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher Photography)

Concrete walls at Creek House, Truckee

Concrete walls provide privacy and protection from the sun.

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher Photography)

Interior of Creek House by Faulkner Architects

Each member of the client’s family contributed in ideas for the design of the house.

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher Photography)

Creek House is constrcuted from concrete with steel and rift-sawn oak inside

Materials used in the interior include steel and rift-sawn oak.

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher Photography)

Floor-to-ceiling windows at the modern Creek House

Floor-to-ceiling windows feature throughout the design of the house. 

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher Photography)

Exposed concrete, bluestone and white gypsum walls at Creek House, Truckee

Exposed concrete, bluestone and white gypsum walls feature across the retreat. 

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher Photography)

The house shows influence of Japanese minimalist design.

The house shows influence of Japanese minimalist design.

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher Photography)

Views of the surrounding landscape within which the house

Views of the surrounding landscape within which the house is immersed are framed by glazing.

(Image credit: Joe Fletcher Photography)