Modern Architecture in the Mountains?

Nontraditional or modern designs have never necessarily been associated with the mountains, where most vacationers have assumed that their getaways resemble forest cabins or  lodges. Tahoe has been coming up with innovative ways to change the that thinking. Laura Read provides a great insight to this on SF Gate.

Contemporary designs have been gaining ground in several Tahoe locales, from Incline Village to Alpine Meadows, from Tahoe Donner to Tahoe City, but they are most abundant in Martis Camp, the new gated community near Truckee. Forty to 50 percent of the more than 100 homes under construction or finished at Martis Camp speak the visual language of the early 20th century International Style: flat or low-sloping roofs, short or no overhanging eaves, open floor plans, and long spans of steel.

In order to accomodate these styles, new materials are used to withstand the effects of a climate that heaps snow on the roofs in winter and sends air temperatures soaring in summer. Triple-glazed glass limits interior heat loss and damage from ultraviolet rays. Concrete-slab floors contain tubes circulating water for warmth. Structural Insulated Panels, or SIPs, form durable roofs, according to engineer Andrew Ryan.

The Martis Camp design review committee members seemed to have freedom of expression in mind when they wrote codes that encourage diversity. “The ‘Martis Camp Architecture Handbook’ was very deliberately written to be non-prescriptive, and to encourage and support high-quality mountain architecture and well-composed design, regardless of stylistic approach,” allowing these beautiful destinations to be created.

With homeowners also now embracing glass and steel it’s something that we could be seeing more of in the near future.

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