Above: The factory-built homes on the property hover lightly over the land to allow for natural watershed. Each structure has two bedroom suites that bookend a central living and dining space with a small kitchen.

At Right: The central living and dining room of the dwellings has two sets of large French doors on each side that open the space out to the surrounding deck.

Rolling hills dotted with majestic oak trees characterize much of the coastal Central California landscape. The region’s temperate climate and unspoiled natural beauty has garnered a lot of attention in recent decades. Visitors now flock to the region to enjoy the hospitality and specialty offerings of local small businesses, including those of a noteworthy group of hardworking winemakers.

For a young family who sought a pastoral getaway from their home in Los Angeles, this 30-acre lakeside ranch property would become a dream come true. Purchased in 2005, KAA Design created a master plan including homesteads, a vineyard, a barn structure, boathouse, and several other amenities. The project began with two 1,000 square foot pre-fabricated dwellings from the KAA Design “HOM Escape in Style” lifestyle product line. The HOM line of products was inspired by the love of indoor/outdoor living and the balance created by connecting with nature in a simple, low-impact, and stylish way.

At Left: Large California Live Oaks dot the landscape and live harmoniously amongst the row of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon vines that flourish in this region.

At Right: A constellation of lanterns – all woven of nautical rope – illuminate a set of dining tables. Details like this are very much in keeping with the organic magic of Split Rock Ranch.

Below: The grape vines are in constant need of attention throughout the seasons. Along the Central Coast region, the warmer weather in late spring is encourages the vines to flower and produce “fruit set” – the first stage of the year’s grape clusters.

At Left: The central living area of each home truly embodies the underlying goal of these pre-fabricated modern dwellings: simplicity, transparency, and sustainability. Constructed with environmentally sensitive and FSC-certified materials, including cork floors, the dwellings feature site-built decks. The uphill deck is anchored by a core-ten steel fireplace that creates an inviting setting for outdoor dining.

At Right: Corrugated, core-ten steel siding provides a rustic and maintenance-free material that graciously weathers through the seasons.

Below: The 30-acre ranch sits on the shores of Lake Nacimiento near Paso Robles. The booming wine country region is located in coastal Central California, about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

At Left: The property’s proximity to the lake creates another opportunity for fun and recreation for the family and visitors to the ranch. Boating and water skiing are favorite activities.

Below: Site-built decks extend out from the central room of the dwellings, as well as run along the perimeter of the structure. The decks increase the usable square footage of the modest homes and blur the boundaries between inside and outside.

At Right: Unexpected exposed bedrock became the foundation for a concrete retaining wall that follows the slope of the hill. Circumstances like this are embraced when they are unearthed and are treated in a way that is respectful of the natural surroundings.

At Left: A 100-year-old Aermotor windmill presides over the growing grapes. A simple and efficient design, this water pumping windmill was found by the owners entirely disassembled in a Paso Robles junkyard.

At Right: To the fortunate owners of Split Rock Ranch, the juxtaposition of the natural terrain and the rolling grid of grape vines is the ultimate expression of the connection between humans and nature. A labor of love, the ranch will continue to evolve while always remaining true to its original vision of living in harmony with the land.

Project Details


Split Rock Ranch


Paso Robles, CA



KAA Services


Landscape Architecture

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