Canopy House

Canopy House


Canopy House

An ecologically diverse flag lot in Portola Valley served as inspiration for the responsive design of Canopy House. The site is a natural bowl, a large flat meadow flanked on two sides by a lush creek and on the other two by a sloping hill, creating a private, immersive geography. The clients, a dynamic couple with small children, envisioned a site-sensitive design that is elevated, modern, cozy, and unassuming, but most importantly intimately connected to the surrounding landscape.

Working closely with the landscape team, Ground Studio, we first conducted an in-depth site analysis of the property, crafting a plan to restore and rehabilitate the unmanaged landscape. To best restore the natural meadow, we will clear the existing invasive species allowing the new design to react organically to the intricate site.

The design consists of layered, interlocking, mirrored L-shaped forms that carefully frame the front yard entry moment, as well as a rear yard panorama. The airy ground floor flows directly into outdoor living areas – an open plan public great room, dining area, and kitchen and a protected exterior seating space create architectural thresholds, compressing and decompressing, mimicking the site’s natural rhythms. The upper level acts as a canopy; an elevated form that floats above landscape moments below, like a tree, casting dappled light and outdoor shading. The upper level sits nested among the surrounding trees, creating intimacy for bedrooms. The pool, at the rear of the site, stretches away from the structures into the meadow creating a sensation of floating out into the open meadow.

Further in harmony with the site, the structure is oriented 15 degrees of south, optimally exposed to control solar heat gain, and wind ventilation for passive cooling. The ground level is cooled by a stack effect, in which warm air is pulled out and expelled through a vertical double height atrium.

LOCATION Portola Valley, California

PROJECT TEAM
Landscape Architecture: Ground Studio
Interior Design: Leverone Design
Lighting Design: Studio Lumen
Structural Engineers: ZFA Structural Engineers
Civil Engineers: Lea & Braze Engineering Inc


 

Funkhaus

Funkhaus


Funkhaus

The design for Funkhaus was largely inspired by our clients’ impressions and lived experiences of the original home, specifically their observations about the untapped potential of the sloping site with dramatic views. The couple dreamt of a series of improvements to their San Francisco home that felt unique and inevitable to the site, using words like enchanted, well-crafted, intimate, and private when asked to describe their vision, and put a distinct emphasis on richness of materiality and articulation of distinct spaces within an overall open concept. Our team set out to design a renovation that preserves the sense of refuge and shelter offered by the site, while honoring special moments from the original home.

A sunken front courtyard offers privacy from the street, carefully laying out a progression of experiences through the home towards the sloped rear yard, incorporating a series of unexpected views. ⁠The bedroom suites step back from the street, creating opportunities for landscaping to envelop the single-story massing that frames the courtyard. The various public spaces and decks follow the natural grade of the site, allowing for multiple special moments in lieu of one big reveal. A majestic Cedar tree in the northwest corner creates a programmatic anchor for both the landscape and architecture.  ⁠

The project’s interior design was both developed in collaboration with the clients, as well in response to their joyful art collection and eclectic lifestyle. Rich, deep colors and materiality elicit a retro vibe, while modern custom casework and millwork designate space to celebrate art. Hanging lanterns and lamps in the kitchen evoke a night market, and a custom fireplace in the living room melds the new with the old.

LOCATION San Francisco, California

PROJECT TEAM
Landscape: Arterra Landscape Architects
Structural: Strandberg Engineering
Lighting: Kim Cladas Lighting Design

 

Dry Creek Compound

Dry Creek Compound


Dry Creek Compound

After exploring some initial design concepts with our team for a larger property in the area, our clients settled on a modestly sized site nestled on the banks of Dry Creek. The couple and their two young children are relocating to Healdsburg with dreams of a serene, modern cluster of agrarian structures – a home with a 2-car garage, a detached ADU, a guest suite, and a roof deck that captures focused views of distant hills. Strong connections to the natural splendors of the site, and the integration of landscape and architecture set the tone for our collaboration with MFLA, the design is “inspired by the design of parks and botanical gardens where landscaping is used to create different spaces that are revealed as you walk along the paths.”

The design carefully and gracefully sites a series of sliding vertical forms on the property, screening the abutting neighbors to the southeast, and opening towards the creek and surrounding grove, as well as inviting in views of vineyards and a sunflower patch. Each form acts as its own structure, connected by a series of covered and uncovered bridges that programmatically separate public and private spaces, while visually creating outdoor courtyards, interlacing architecture and landscape. The pool is nestled between the two main living wings and the creek, creating a protected, sunny, outdoor living space to enjoy year-round. The main dining area, separating the guest suite and office from the great room, opens completely onto courtyards on either side.

LOCATION Healdsburg, California

PROJECT TEAM
Landscape Architect: MFLA
Structural Engineer: ZFA Structural Engineers
Civil Engineer: Munselle Civil Engineering