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Citation Award


Trollhus is a single-family residence in Norden, California driven by the extreme environmental conditions found at a 6,800 foot elevation. Based on the alpine chalet, the house is lifted by concrete legs to protect it from snow in excess of 800 inches a year, while still embracing a California sensibility of indoor-outdoor living with extensive glazing, skylights, and south-facing balconies.

The jury noted that while it is true that dark, wood clad buildings have been in vogue for a bit, there are no other nods to conventionally prettified shelter magazine tropes here. The hyper-rational base strategy along with its willfully challenging form give way to a truly beautiful, and beautifully detailed, interior. The jury really liked the straightforward volume, and the deeply rooted celebration of Scandinavian architecture with a modern sensibility. The lovely wood ceiling volume was a major selling point and perfect contrast to the exterior. The project celebrates the past without being historic.

Mork Ulnes Architects
Bruce Damonte Photography
General Contractor
Barth Construction
Civil Engineer
Ferrell Civil Engineering
Structural Engineer
Gabbart & Woods
Design Awards 2016