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The Caretaker’s Cottage

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The Caretaker’s Cottage, an accessory dwelling unit located in the mountains of San Diego County, was completed in 2022 to house the Ilan-Lael Foundation’s Caretaker. The purpose of the Foundation, an arts education center, is to provide a place to explore the arts through engagement with the natural world and to inspire people of diverse backgrounds to celebrate their creativity and use it as a catalyst for positive change in the world.

Constructed with the latest green technologies, the cottage’s contoured walls were built with insulated composite concrete blocks, which consist of post-consumer Styrofoam, Portland cement, admixtures, and water. The rolling arched ceilings were built with Tridipanels, which are framed pre-fabricated recycled expanded polystyrene panels. Both of these materials are known for their strength in high winds, fire-resistant properties, design versatility, and high thermal insulation qualities. All of these advantages are essential in the hills of Santa Ysabel, where fires, Santa Ana winds, and intense temperatures are an ever-present possibility.

Walking around the magical property, one realizes the Cottage blends into the surrounding environment as if it was always meant to be there. Designed by father and son team, James and Drew Hubbell, it features Hubbell and Hubbell’s ability to make resilient designs come to life, utilizing low-impact materials, while creating a stunningly beautiful home in harmony with nature for the property’s caretaker. Embellished with stained glass doors and windows, floors and walls adorned with mosaics, rock work with stones harvested from the property, ornate brickwork, skillful woodwork built with reclaimed cedar, and intricate metalwork details, all of these features are designed by James and built by his craftsmen and women. The Cottage can be described in two words – sculptural architecture.

930 Orchard Lane, Santa Ysabel, CA 92070

Project Owner/Developer:
The Ilan-Lael Foundation

Contact Name/Email:
The Ilan-Lael Foundation, Executive Director Marianne Gerdes, ilanlael@mac.com

Project Architect/Designer:
Hubbell & Hubbell Architects, Drew Hubbell, Jim Hubbell, Simon Talago, Sarah Jamieson, Peter Barroso, Harrison Bolden, Gina Farkas, Joel Masters, Kim Ogburn, Ben Gadbois, Kanin Killiane, Larry Shriver, Jim Birdsell, Mati Moon, Laurel Costa, John Wheelock, Cindy Mushet, Candace Wright, Calen Bole, Ulysse “Bear” Grant, Connor Hubbell, David Young, Connor Bussick, Analise Lajeunesse, Garrett Goodwin, Timmy Keblar, Mike Zukovich, Tanner Osborne, Dan Thoner, Glen W., John Smith, Jason Turton, Dave Billick, Kyle Ganshert, Rick Accurso, Miguel Dominguez, Pat Lawrence, Emilie Ledieu, Rudy’s Concrete Pumping, Bob Greer Electric, Jeff Napierskie, Frontier Plumbing, B R Stucco, Bill Rigsby, Richardson Steel, Superior Concrete, Firehouse Glass, Stanley BackHoe, Innovative Fire Protection, Tim Brennan’s HVAC Service

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