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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