A home that is so simple, yet so unique and artistic at the same time, the Hawk House cottage in California is a true gem. The cottage was designed and built by Alex Wyndham, an architect in Santa Barbara, California who is well known as a designer who loves to design natural homes that fit into their surroundings. This tiny cottage definitely fits the bill at only 7 feet by 9 feet; the Hawk House gets its name because it's perched up on a hill looking down at the coastline below. It blends in seamlessly with the scenery with bark covered exterior walls which were created using Redwood bark from a sawmill in the area. The thing that sets this cottage apart from the rest is its great shed roof and the three full glass doors all along the front of the cottage. The doors open all the way up folding to one side of the house opening the house up to the outside world. And as if that wasn't cool enough, the walls then come up as well. Alex says that he loves to make these structures that fit perfectly into nature and that have moving components. The Hawk House is made using a truss framing system which makes it easy to push out the side walls and prop them open with boards to allow for incredible ventilation.
The inside of the cottage feels and looks like a typical rustic cottage with upcycled oak flooring and walls. The roof is topped with grass to insulate the home and also to provide a place for insects and animals, again continuing with the theme of the home fitting right in with nature. He also created wide eaves for the swallows to have their nests in. He also added some furniture inside the cottage including a bed and a desk or a table. There is also a long skinny window at the very back of the cottage for more light. It's quite cozy, but probably best suited for one or two people to enjoy. Believe it or not, this cottage only cost $5,000 to build. It was built for one of Alex's friends whose cabin burned down in 2008 in the wildfires. Which is why it's great that it has redwood bark siding because it has some fire resistant qualities. Alex has also created an art studio in Santa Barbara, a boathouse in Vancouver, a cute chicken coop, and a tsunami relief shelter. He's also built a tiny house on wheels that was featured on Tiny House Nation, the popular TV show that has everyone obsessed with tiny houses.
Alex has lived all over but mainly on the West Coast, he got his master's degree in architecture from the University of Oregon and has a background in ecology. So he uses his knowledge in both aspects right when he begins planning his design. He goes out to the building site and learns about the ecology and uses that in the planning of the structure he's going to design. He also makes the buildings to support inspiration and innovation. He believes that properly designed buildings make for well-made buildings and has a lot of fun with the design process. He also works in passive solar systems to help keep the building sustainable and self-sufficient. The Hawk House itself is heated by the sun and then cooled by the breeze in the evening and morning when it's cool. The green roof also helps to cool the home down too. It's awesome to see innovative and natural designs like this that are not imposing but integrated into the landscape. Hopefully, we'll see more of this as time goes on.
More about this story can be found at: Alex Wyndham