Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Tower House in Mammoth Lakes, California by Robert Vogel
November 3rd, 2015 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: Robert Vogel
The client bought a very steep site, but with spectacular views of Mammoth Mountain from the top of the lot. The program called for a house for full time residence, for a family of four. The area is a ski resort, with very heavy snowfalls.
I designed the house to have enclosed access from the entryway all the way into the house in order to facilitate access during the heavy snow months. The towers also have glass roofs and function as passive solar collectors, funneling the warmed air into the house through the hallway.
The house was rendered in painted cedar shingles, which wrapped nicely around the curves. I am a fan of older shingled houses built in the last century in the United States, by Architects such as Ernest Coxhead, and H.H. Richardson, and was influenced by this look.
The street level contains a three car garage, and entry. The stairs are not spiral stairs, but have a square core with a curved exterior, in order to have wider treads, more frequent landings and to be safer.
The first floor of the house is a bedroom level, with two bedrooms and baths. The second floor is the living area, with Kitchen Dining and Living room which open out on a grade level patio, surrounded by the huge pine trees on the lot. The third floor is a master bedroom suite.
Structurally, the house is a 24 foot square cube, with a diagonally placed gable roof. Since Mammoth is a volcano, the area is seismically active and the house needed to have significant plywood sheer paneling to withstand horizontal sizemic along with vertical snow loads.
The second floor framing is a unique “waffle slab” type design of crisscrossing 4×4’s at 24” o.c. The whole house is wood framed, with only steel straps and connections. The retaining walls in the garage are reinforced concrete block. Free standing wood burning stoves supplement heating in the house.
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