A Contemporary Woodland Truckee Retreat in Martis Camp
In Truckee, California, the charred cedar–clad Martis Camp 141 celebrates its mountainous surroundings.
When designing the 5,700-square-foot mountain getaway, architect Greg Faulkner looked to the colors and materials of the surrounding forest for inspiration.
Buying property was not on the agenda when New Jersey residents Scott and Claire Mackin took their three sons on a ski trip to Lake Tahoe a few years ago. Sometimes, however, life takes an unexpected turn. In this case, that turn was into Martis Camp, a 2,177-acre community near Lake Tahoe with trails, family-friendly amenities and homesites tucked away in a forest of pine and fir trees. “Like everybody else who goes there, we were gobsmacked by this place,” Claire explains. “It touched us in a way that was very emotional.”
Six months after that first visit to Martis Camp, the Mackins purchased a site and then turned to architect Greg Faulkner to create their new retreat. “This house is all about the sun, the views and the wind,” says Faulkner, who designed a concrete-and-steel structure clad with hot-rolled steel and cedar siding. Lending to its distinctive appearance, about half of the house’s cedar was charred using a centuries-old Japanese technique called shou sugi ban. “The idea is that once wood burns, it’s less likely to burn again, so it’s somewhat fire-resistant,” Claire explains. “It also has a beautiful patina with the texture of the char.”
A travertine marble fireplace defines the living area, where a custom rug by Tufenkian anchors a sofa and two armchairs, all by B&B Italia from Arkitektura. Designer Sarah Jones created the coffee table with glass and walnut on rusted-metal supports.
A gray leather chair, paired with its matching ottoman—both by Minotti from Arkitektura—swivels to take advantage of conversation in the living area or views through the sliding doors toward the terrace. The floor lamp is by Circa Lighting.
Lending to its distinctive appearance, about half of the house’s cedar was charred using a centuries-old Japanese technique called shou sugi ban. Once the team and the Mackins decided on the right color and texture, the boards were treated, installed and oiled. “It’s a really cool natural technique to get an interesting sheen and luster that will stand the test of time,” says Jim Morrison, the project's builder.
To maximize the space for guests, the structure features six private sleeping areas, including two that do double duty, like this space that incorporates an office.