Minimal Footprint, Maximum Fun: Aptos Retreat by CCS Architecture

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If anyone needs a retreat, it’s probably a couple with six children! And this home not far from the beach town of Aptos, California, fits the bill, as designed by CCS Architecture. Located on a 20-acre site in the Santa Cruz Mountains, it is a casual, rustic setting that has both ocean and mountain views. What did the family want out of this retreat? Space for partying, cooking, tanning, swimming, archery, horseshoes, gardening, and wood-splitting. (Who wouldn’t want space for wood-splitting?) That entails a sizeable estate of two primary buildings plus outbuildings — as the architects put it, “a country compound.” The main house of 2800 square feet has two parts, a “live building” and a “sleep building,” which overlap in such a way that their intersecting roofs shelter part of the outdoor space.

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The smaller building holds two bedrooms and a shared bathhouse, positioned at an angle to form an L-shaped yard. There’s also a “barn,” a 1600-square foot rusted-steel “clubhouse” that contains recreational equipment — ping-pong, large-screen TV, surfboards, billiards — and sofa beds for sleepovers. In addition, an outdoor activity area contains the archery range (uphill from the house), horseshoe pit, plus a swimming pool and fire pit on a lower level. And as if that’s not enough, there are also two “tent cabins” set among the trees which serve as guest houses, with a sauna in the space between them and the “sleep building.” Sliding glass doors give the family all the view they want; reclaimed and natural materials such as concrete, wood, stone, and steel provide the minimal “footprint” they want as well. Plenty of space to spread out, while being minimally invasive: that’s this Aptos retreat by CCS.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).

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