Visionary firm Feldman Architecture recently took peace and serenity to a new level by creating an imaginative, sustainable getaway retirement home dubbed the Butterfly House. Their clients spent two years selecting the perfect plot of land on the privately owned Santa Lucia Preserve near Carmel, California and settled on a 2,900-square-foot area within a meadowland butterfly habitat—the muse for their home’s name and unique design.

Inspired by the surrounding colorful insects, Feldman Architecture designed an indoor/outdoor integrated living space complete with a butterfly style roof built for sustainable temperature regulation and water conservation. The home has a modern aesthetic consisting of three spaces—a central area for main living and two buildings for sleeping, bathing, and relaxing. Each structure opens up to spectacular views of the surrounding hills and canyon below. The home is a leader in contemporary sustainable luxury thanks to its green features, outdoor integrations, and beautiful design.


The clients expressed a desire to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces with a simple, modern aesthetic. PHOTO: JOE FLETCHER

Irrigate /ˈiriɡāt/ (verb)

Supply water to (land or crops) to help growth, typically by means of channels. The butterfly roofs harvest rainwater in order to preserve water in an area of the world where droughts are common and water conservation is of the utmost importance. The roof collects water into an irrigation system that feeds the native plants and surrounding fields to keep the home green and lush, rendering the structure a self-sustaining environment with little to no landscape maintenance as a result.

Thermoregulation /thûr′mō-rĕg′yə-lā′shən/ (noun)

The maintenance of a constant internal temperature independent from the environmental temperature. Concrete walls and large expanses of glass provide both aesthetic and functional services. This neural pallet enhances the beauty of the Butterfly House’s surrounding environment while regulating the temperature inside for comfortable living. Concrete and glass are materials that absorb heat from sunlight during the day to keep the internal temperature of the home cool and refreshing and release heat at night for a cozy interior.

Pavilion /pəˈvilyən/ (noun)

A summerhouse or other decorative building used as a shelter in a park or large garden. Butterfly House is arranged into three connecting pavilions—a main living space, a space where the clients will sleep, bathe, and relax, and another guest chamber. The use of connecting pavilions promotes the indoor-outdoor integration essential to this home’s design. The pavilions also allow privacy for the clients while hosting their family and friends by having the main living area separate from the two sleeping spaces.

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