Carmel Valley is a minimalist house located in Santa Lucia, California, designed by Piechota Architecture. Settled in among the old growth oaks and rolling hills of the Santa Lucia Preserve in Carmel Valley, the residence, which takes its name from the area, also took its form from it: an L-shaped plan allows the house to settle naturally into the contours of the land. Seated in a sunny clearing defined by the surrounding oaks, concrete, weathered steel, and natural cedar mimic the colors and textures of the hills, while floor-to-ceiling glass was custom produced to allow for an abundance of vistas throughout the home, capturing the rolling hills, wild life, and broad valley views.
The home’s program is split between two structures, each completing one arm of the “L” and connected by an enclosed second-story bridge. The split program separates the main living spaces from the master and guest suites, and also opened up space for more outdoor programming. The house hugs the perimeter of the forest, its orientation defined by its prioritization of views. Taking advantage of the trees as framing elements of their own, expansive windows throughout leave the job of framing to the oaks themselves, stepping aside and recognizing the ability of the trees to dictate where the eye will settle.