step inside this california mountain house, the only US home by atelier bow-wow

step inside this california mountain house, the only US home by atelier bow-wow

japanese architecture in california

 

Hidden among the endless foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in Nevada City, California, the Mountain House stands with design by the internationally acclaimed Japanese architectural firm Atelier Bow-Wow. Originally constructed in 2008, the timber dwelling occupies a property which spans over sixty private, forested acres and stands as a clear embodiment of the architects’ ethos. Atelier Bow-Wow, celebrated for its intelligent and compact designs, crafted this project as its first and only home in the United States on this pristine canvas of land, bordered on three sides by the U.S. Forest Service. New images have been captured of this three-bedroom home in time for its listing for sale through Sotheby’s International Real Estate.

atelier bow wow california
image © Nick Swartzendruber for Sotheby’s International Realty

 

 

the 2008-built ‘mountain house’ by atelier bow-wow

 

Located in the heart of California’s Mother Lode, Atelier Bow-Wow’s Mountain House occupies the site of the Nineteenth century gold mine known as ‘Sailor Flat.’ This historical context enriches the property, as it features remnants of wagon roads and trails from the Nineteenth century, alongside a landscape criss-crossed by year-round creeks and seasonal streams. Over the course of nine years, the architects at Atelier Bow-Wow carefully conceived the Mountain House with sensitivity to its natural surroundings in mind, resulting in a design philosophy that honors the environment.

atelier bow wow californiaimage © Kat Alves for Sotheby’s International Realty

 

 

Treading Lightly, Maximizing Connection

 

The vision of Atelier Bow-Wow materialized into a structure that treads lightly on the land and its resources while maximizing its connection to the sweeping natural landscape. Approaching the Mountain House, visitors are greeted by an unassuming and simple facade topped by a vast, shaded terrace. This rooftop covers the entire square footage of the house, serving as a shaded sanctuary where guests can spend their days in hammocks or even sleep in an open-air setting. The elevated roof effectively shields the house from the sun during warm summers, offering panoramic views of the surrounding forests and a seasonal pond.

atelier bow wow california
image © Kat Alves for Sotheby’s International Realty

 

 

inside the timber dwelling

 

Upon stepping inside the Mountain House, the essence of Japanese design permeates every corner. The living area is designed to integrate the natural surroundings with the interiors, a strategy facilitated by oversized wood-framed glass doors that open broadly onto the forest. The interiors feature a continuous, seamless concrete floor, complemented by walls composed of recycled paper-based Homasote boards, creating an organic atmosphere. The team notes that reclaimed wood doors and porcelain tubs add historical depth and alignment with Japanese wabi-sabi design principles.

 

With three bedrooms, bunks, nooks, roof room sleeping options, and a central day bed, the Mountain House offers flexible options for visits by family and guests. While the home is situated deep in the forests with no other structure or neighbor in sight, visitors can still access town in just fifteen minutes, lending a practical yet intimate connection to nature.

atelier bow wow california
image © Kat Alves for Sotheby’s International Realty atelier bow wow california
image © Kat Alves for Sotheby’s International Realty

sailor-flat-arch-atelier-bow-wow-california-designboom-06a

image © Kat Alves for Sotheby’s International Realty

step inside this california mountain house, the only US home by atelier bow-wow
image © Kat Alves for Sotheby’s International Realty

sailor-flat-arch-atelier-bow-wow-california-designboom-08a

image © Kat Alves for Sotheby’s International Realty

 

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image © Kat Alves for Sotheby's International Realty
image © Kat Alves for Sotheby's International Realty
image © Kat Alves for Sotheby's International Realty
image © Kat Alves for Sotheby's International Realty
image © Nick Swartzendruber for Sotheby’s International Realty
image © Nick Swartzendruber for Sotheby’s International Realty
image © Nick Swartzendruber for Sotheby’s International Realty
image © Nick Swartzendruber for Sotheby’s International Realty
image © Kat Alves for Sotheby's International Realty
image © Kat Alves for Sotheby's International Realty

project info: 

 

project title: Mountain House

architecture: Atelier Bow-Wow

location: 12789 Sailor Flat Rd., Nevada City, California

completion: 2008

listing: Sotheby’s International Realty | @sothebysrealty

drone photography: © Nick Swartzendruber | @dronecowboys

photography: © Kat Alves | @katalves

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