Balanced & Neutral

Beautiful Mountain Home in Lake Tahoe, California

by Ryan C. Buell, communications coordinator, East River PR

From Architectural West Mar/Apr ’18

The sound of water trickling fills the space around the long dining table with a low murmur, a reverberation.  With the four lengths of sliding glass pocket doors tucked away on either side, this dining room is converted to an open-air living room.  The crisp mountain air of the High Sierra flows in, bringing with it that serene sound of the nearby Truckee River and the quiet brook flowing below and around this wing of the house. 

         Aptly named By the River, this beautiful mountain home is a reinvention of the classic Tahoe lodge.  The result of a collaboration between Mark Tanner Construction, Sandbox Studio, Aspen Leaf Interiors, and Linchpin Structural Engineering, this sleek home is both local and global in its design, materials, and influence. 

All photos courtesy of Vance Fox

         The exterior blends traditional rustic elements with a modern minimalism, juxtaposing warm cedar siding and steep rooflines with brilliant white pavers and expansive glass framings.  The interior diverges even further from the regional norm, even hinting at Eastern Asian influences.  High ceilings, tall cabinetry, sharp edges, and a continuation of the exterior’s white pavers throughout the house create a clean, contemporary atmosphere that feels balanced and natural. 

         “The design allows the building to sit there, within its environment and neighborhood in a way that fits,” said Marcio Decker, principal designer with Aspen Leaf Interiors.  “When you zoom in, however, you start noticing some of the details, such as the windows, the mitered corners, and the shadow lines.  It’s a whole editing of a typical Tahoe house.”

         Angled skylights along the ridges of the roof give the house plenty of natural lighting, and the expansive windows offer picturesque views from every room.  The 3/4″-thick tempered frameless glass railings permit unfiltered views of the Truckee River from the pool deck and fire pit, while the proximity of the tall forest lends the house a certain intimacy with nature.  “There’s almost no need for paintings because the scenery is the artwork of the house,” Decker said.

         The home itself reflects this sense of natural design, boasting a 15-ton geothermal system to heat and cool the 5,400 sq.ft. house, lap pool and spa, and surrounding ice-melt system.  A solar photovoltaic system provides renewable power to supplement the grid, and the sophisticated mechanical system is capable of running the property up to 30 days off the grid.  The home is prepped for future whole-house batteries and also has a Tesla supercharger in the garage.

         By the River is a testament to fusion.  From the design that incorporates regional and international influences, traditional and chic, to the stunning technology of the home that balances luxury with cutting-edge sustainability, this blend creates a one-of-a-kind residence.  The construction walks the fine line of innovation, defying expectations while remaining relatable and welcoming. 

         “The team at Tanner Construction was wonderful to work with,” Decker said.  “They are very customer-oriented and their understanding of the design resulted in a beautifully crafted and extremely well-executed renovation.”

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