Headframe House

A Headframe is the structural frame that sits above a mine shaft. These vernacular structures have become iconic to the landscape of the American West.

Located outside of Bridgeport, California, the Headframe House embeds itself into a south facing slope overlooking the Mono Lake Valley and Inyo Mountains to the east, and the High Sierras to the west. The house is primarily made of concrete mixed with soil collected form the site, blurring the distinction between structure and mountain side. A gridwork of timber trusses sit atop the earthen walls and support a steel roof, typical of mining structures in the area.
Like water flowing through a canyon, the experience was developed by carving spaces from the existing earth. Circulation and public programs occur in the voids between enclosed, more private programs. Courtyards extend into the hillside creating sheltered outdoor space and allow natural light to infiltrate the north side of the structure. A cantilevered deck floats over the sage brush to the south providing outdoor space with views.