Black and White House

Morro Bay, California



Client: Cameron Financial Development
Size: New 4,168 sq. ft. residence on a 6,243 sq. ft. site.
Year Complete: 2007


Ravatt Albrecht & Associates


American Institute of Architects California Central Coast Chapter, Merit Award.


Create a cost-effective, sustainable residence that maximizes outdoor living on an ocean-view lot.


Ravatt Albrecht & Associates designed this new 4,168 sq. ft. residence on a 6,243 sq. ft. site in a manner that would maximize outdoor living on a small, steep site.

Work included creative design that minimized retaining walls and maximized outdoor space, resulting in the house being designed as two separate areas – one black and one white. Each color represents a separate functionality: white provides for parking and living, and black for sleeping and private spaces.

The result was a home infused with materials that matched function in the most cost-effective, sustainable manner possible. “White” is constructed with concrete walls and plaster; “Black” is post and beam with glass curtain-walls and solid walls made from skin of a sustainable hardwood stained with a light ebony oil to maintain a darker, richer color over time. SIP (structural insulated panels) was used for roof construction provide to offer a thinner roof and floor section and to save money during construction by minimizing onsite construction time.

Green building strategies included the use of shetkaSTONE countertops (made from recycled paper), bamboo cabinets and doors, sustainable hardwood decking, solar heat, muchkin boiler with solar roof panel backup for water heating, heat recovery system, vegetated roof, drought tolerant native landscaping, and water collection with rain chains and rain barrels.