On a west face of the Sierra Mountains surrounding lake Tahoe, approximately 7,000 feet above sea level, the site affords a spectacular distant view to the south and west. Pine and fir trees populate this mountainous region.


Alpine in character, the climate is cool to cold with very good solar insolation. Precipitation is predominantly in the form of winter snow which may average 20 inches per month and cover the ground 6 to 8 months. Winter storms tend to be short, and extended periods of overcast skies are rare.

• Winter: temperatures average between 18° and 40° F with occasional drops below zero in the early a.m.

• Summer: temperatures average between 40° and 80° F


This compact plan is suitable as either a vacation home or a year round home for a small family. The original prototype of this design was the first completed home representative of the current state of the art in double envelope design. A particularly important consideration and controlling design factor in this region is the structural requirement for supporting heavy cumulative snow loads on the roof. This design features pitched ceilings on the second floor parallel with north and south rooflines.

Back to Design Chart

Back to Portfolio


Interior Solarium Total Sq Ft
1580 378 1958