Residential Estates
Previous Project Close Project Next Project
Butterfly House
Butterfly House
Butterfly House
Santa Lucia Preserve, California

The Butterfly House is located on five acres of land in the Santa Lucia Preserve near Carmel, a 20,000-acre private development and land trust. Sitting lightly on the land, the home is divided into three pavilions; two of the pavilions are attached by a floating bridge spanning a constructed bioswale that conveys the upper watershed through the site, adding beauty to function. Each roof of the Butterfly House funnels water to a rain chain and into landscape collection pools, which supply cisterns to irrigate the landscape during the summer months. For this innovative modern home designed by Feldman Architecture of San Francisco, Whitson Engineers provided full civil engineering and land surveying services. Our design team produced the grading and drainage plan, erosion control plan and septic plan. In addition, we performed a topographic survey and construction staking for the property.

Benedict Canyon Estate
Benedict Canyon Estate
Benedict Canyon Estate
Beverly Hills, California

Located on 3.2 acres at the end of a private cul-de-sac, this modern 10,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, eight-bath estate features a home theater, pool, private guest suite, glass walls for city and canyon views, water features, atrium and entertaining areas. Whitson Engineers worked on the site development of this ridgeline residence. Innovative site improvements included an elevated driveway (viaduct) and biofiltration planter boxes.

Caterpillar House
Caterpillar House
Caterpillar House
Santa Lucia Preserve, California

The award-winning design for the Caterpillar House, sited on the softly rolling hills of the Santa Lucia Preserve, sought to accentuate a connection to the land and be environmentally-conscious responsive to a beautiful site. Connecting the home literally and figuratively to the site, earth was excavated and repurposed for the construction of the walls. These rammed earth walls gently curve in response to the site’s contours and also act as a thermal mass, regulating temperatures from day to night. Whitson Engineers worked closely with the design team and construction firm to build this sustainable residence, the first LEED Platinum Custom Home on the Central Coast. Three tanks prominently located on the site store rainwater and supply irrigation for the property’s irrigation needs. Our team provided civil engineering and land surveying services, plans for grading and drainage, storm water reclamation, erosion control and septic, topographic survey and construction staking.

Sweetwater Mesa
Sweetwater Mesa
Sweetwater Mesa
Malibu, California

Designed to work with and reflect the environment around it, this complex of residential estates on 150 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains conform to the existing hillside and incorporate and preserve protected environmental features such as existing rock formations and Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas (ESHA). Despite steep hillside terrain, environmental limitations and geologic concerns, our design team proposed different solutions to meet these needs and attain agency approvals. Because this project was highly publicized, the California Coastal Commission fielded a high number of public concerns. Our team prepared technical studies, reports and graphic exhibits to communicate technically complex elements and offer feasible options during entitlements.

Photos courtesy of Wallace Cunningham Architects

Penon Peak Trail Residence
Penon Peak Trail Residence
Penon Peak Trail Residence
Santa Lucia Preserve, California

Located on a 20,000-acre private development and land trust, the 11,000-square-foot main house is articulated as a crescent of interior and exterior spaces of varying sizes and forms to preserve the site’s knoll and optimize views. Tucked into the natural topography, a restored riparian corridor intersects the driveway to frame the entry. Program elements of the home and their placement on the varied topography were instrumental in the design concept. Knolls, swales and rock outcrops provided inspiration for the shaping of the site and its exterior spaces. Whitson Engineers conducted a topographic survey, completed civil design that included grading, drainage and utility design, and we performed construction staking for the contractor.