Rau Haus

A couple with a young daughter looking to leave the city in search of more space contacted Feldman Architecture to design a new home – a modern, secluded residence with a dedicated zone for hosting family and friends. With a site selected with sweeping views over Coal Creek Open Space Preserve, the team’s vision centered around completely immersing visitors in rolling green hills while offering a rare, distant glimpse of the San Francisco Bay to the north.

The design centers around thoughtfully orienting public and private living spaces towards views while creating a sense of privacy from the neighboring lots above. The 3,433 square foot L-shaped building footprint is gently tucked into the eastern hillside, creating an enclosure for outdoor moments, and framing a wide array of views from indoor living spaces.

The volumes are carefully articulated to minimize disruption of views from the surrounding properties. The primary wing runs north to south, expanding vertically at a double-height kitchen and dining space while visually connecting the main level to a study loft and bedrooms upstairs. Light wells and clerestory windows on the eastern façade welcome morning light and offer peeks of greenery without compromising privacy. A single-story form topped by a green roof stretches perpendicularly – blending into the surrounding landscape and creating a multipurpose space at pool level for playing, exercising, and entertaining. The infinity pool acts as a threshold where the manicured landscape merges into the native meadow-scape.

LOCATION Portola Valley, California

Interior Designer: FQ Designs
Landscape Architect: Thuilot Associates
General Contractor: NorthWall Builders
Lighting Design: Tucci Lighting
Structural Engineer: ZFA Structural Engineers
Civil Engineer: Lea & Braze Engineering, Inc.
MEP: Philip Neumann Energy Design
Photography: Adam Rouse