Montecito Canyon Residence

Montecito, CA

What if a modern architectural estate could be built to be resilient, touch the earth lightly, and produce more water and electricity than it consumes?

Montecito, CA


18,000 SF


SD was challenged by an environmentally concerned client to envision a large architectural estate achieving Net-Zero and making as minimal an impact on the hillside site as possible.

SD conceived the building as a series of folded “skins” that protected and shielded the building from the natural elements. The skin includes photo-voltaic panels and shades the building vision glass.
The folding exterior skins mimic the natural folding topography of the Transverse Range Santa Ynez Range of the Santa Barbara foothills.

The building is designed for maximum resiliency for the centuries ahead. Anticipating predicted impacts of global climate change, such as droughts, fluctuations in climate temperatures, and dwindling energy and natural resources. The home is built to survive.

A structural skeleton supports the building and allows elements of the building to cantilever over undisturbed landscape. The base of the building anchors into the site and contains massive storm water and gray water collection systems.

Robin Donaldson, AIA

Greg Griffin

Alex Towpasz