Alex Wyndham, an architect in Santa Barbara, Calif., has made a name for himself as a designer who collaborates seamlessly with nature. His 7×9 foot Hawk House is perched on a hill overlooking the coast and can be opened up in stages to allow for ventilation while still sheltering sleeping guests.
“I love building structures that are integrated with their landscape,” Alex said. “I also enjoy making buildings with doors and roofs that move.”
The Hawk House (recently featured in Sunset magazine) is made from a truss framing system that allows the sides to open up. The floor and walls are made from upcycled oak flooring and the redwood bark siding is from a local sawmill. The sod roof insulates and allows for native grasses and wildflowers to grow and attract birds and insects. The glass doors at the front of the Hawk House are used for passive solar heating, and the wide eaves shelter the house in the summer and invite the local swallows to build their nests.
The house was built for around $5,000 for a friend whose original cabin was burned in the Los Padres fires of 2008. The redwood bark siding is natural fire resistant.
“I strive to create buildings that are inspired by their environment and sit lightly on the land,” Alex said. “Using recycled and sustainable building materials are a priority.”
Alex Wyndham’s stylish Chicken House stores rainwater in the roof.
Alex has created (or is in the process of creating) tiny structures including an art studio located behind a house in Santa Barbara, a boathouse in Vancouver, a fantastic chicken coop, and a tsunami relief shelter. Future projects include a treehouse and a tiny house on wheels.
The Artshed in a Santa Barbara backyard is full of light.
“Small buildings are a design challenge because you have to focus on the details,” Alex said. “Every square inch is important when your building is only 90 square feet.”
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Photos courtesy of Alex Wyndham