Kovac Architects, Inc.
Michael Kovac, Principle
Christ Trettin, Project Architect

Start: July 2008
Projected Completion: November 2009

5,800 square feet


Michael Kovac used three primary walls to organize this hilltop home. The rich, sepia colored walls vary in proportion and scale and serve as threshold to the breathtaking hilltop views. We overcame early foundation challenges by opting to re-grade the entire site rather than use a caisson system. The house has a steel frame structure with exposed concrete floors and custom millwork from Italy. The main stair is made of oak-clad steel and cantilevers off the primary wall.

Main entry with bridge to the guest house / gym.
"The Re-Use People" demolished the existing thirty-two-hundred-square-foot house. All metals, the majority of the wood framing, doors and windows, appliances and even some of the finishes were recycled. This provided a valuable tax credit for the home owners.
Poor soil conditions were corrected by removing and recompacting the ground down to the bedrock, at about eight feet deep.
Excavation for the foundations now takes place in the recompacted soil. This saved the expense of a caisson foundation system.
We take aerial photographs each month as part of our job log. Reviewing these at the completion of projects in an invaluable tool in developing future schedules.
The Structural Steel is complete and the wood framing is about seventy five percent complete. Note the large steel columns on the left, these support a near-free-standing wall.
The wood framing is now at ninety percent and the HVAC duct-work is installed on the roof. The duct-work will be framed and roofed over.
Ready for the lath inspections prior to plaster. We use two layers ‘Tyvec’ building wrap and stainless steel expanded lath rather than typical building paper and chicken wire to avoid cracking in the plaster surfaces.
While the design of the trellis is by Michael Kovac, we worked out the construction details. We saved a fair amount of money by field fabricating and assembling the aluminum members. We install the Trellis prior to the plaster to hide all the connections and to provide for better water proofing.
All of our projects get ‘Level 5’ drywall work. This means an extra skim coat of topping compound for a museum quality look.
Here Jim demonstrates the Fleetwood corner unit which opens without having a vertical stile left behind, leaving a completely open corner. Beyond the exterior lath continues inside the building as the red plaster walls will be both interior and exterior elements.
Bridge with solid walls and wood slat walkway.
Entry façade as seen from driveway approach.
Backyard with trellises over patio. The round hole is above the fire pit.
Living room with red plaster entry walls beyond.
Kitchen with den beyond. The corner doors allow interior / exterior integration.
Oak stairs cantilever from the sepia plaster entry wall.
The den with corner open and fire pit.