Bock House

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Location: Alpine, CA – Year: 2007 – Area: 3,408 Sq. Ft. – Status: Completed –

Design team: Rodrigo Romero

Services provided:

  • Design
  • Renderings
  • Construction Documents development
  • Coordination with consultants and building officials
  • Building Permit processing
  • Responded to owner’s and contractors RFI’s during construction.

Located in a development in the hills of Alpine, the 9 acre site itself was mostly undeveloped, so limiting land disturbance was one of my priorities. The owners wanted to keep the house relatively away from the road so a long driveway had to be incorporated. However, the program was laid out in a way that minimizes the building’s footprint as much as possible without compromising the owner’s project requirements.

Views are a major asset of this site and were a big factor in the location and layout of living spaces.

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In addition, the building was designed to passively heat, cool, and naturally ventilate, and to maximize natural lighting. The general layout had south exposure for most of the living spaces, with external overhangs that protected the windows from the hot summer sun but allowed the winter sun inside.

Natural lighting was maximized with large south-west facing windows as well as clerestory windows, skylights, and solar tubes that also helped with glare reduction.

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Windows and interior wall openings were also placed to allow for natural ventilation. High clerestory windows let the hot air out while cooler air is let in through low window openings. Natural ventilation is not always the best option though. When outside temperatures are too high, or too low, windows need to be closed and the super insulation of the building get to work on keeping the interior temperature comfortable. If necessary, an HVAC system does kick in, but that only happens a few times a year.

Renderings

The renderings provided to the client back in 2006 were very basic (to say the least). Using only AutoCAD for 3D modelling and Photoshop for some context. However, they served the purpose of allowing my clients (a couple) to visualize the spaces tridimentionally.

One great memory I have is about one of the first concept elevations I showed my clients. It was a hand-colored elevation (below) and my client just loved it. I honestly was very surprised by his reaction. I didn’t think (and still don’t think) that it was a good drawing, but he thought it was exactly what he needed to see. He said that he had an idea of how he wanted his house to be, but couldn’t really see it in his head. It was until he saw the drawing that his dream house became something tangible. I can still remember his excitement as if it happened yesterday because it was a great experience for me as well.

Rodrigo Romero Design – Bock House – Preliminary Design Sketch – 2006

The following renderings are from 2020, using a combination of SketchUp and Photoshop.

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Construction Documents

Rodrigo Romero Design – Bock House Sections (sample)
Rodrigo Romero Design – Bock House Elevations (sample)
Rodrigo Romero Design – Bock House Site Plan (sample)
Rodrigo Romero Design – Bock House Floor Plan (sample)
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