Round House

Round House


Round House

Tucked away in Los Altos Hills, the aptly named Round House is a geometrically unique structure; one of a few similarly shaped homes built in California in the 60s. The clients fell in love with this quirky circular house and initially planned a modest remodel. Soon after moving in, the pair recognized the inefficiencies of their new home – low roof eaves curiously obstructed the otherwise spectacular views, spurring their desire to open and modernize the design. Our team set out to craft a respectful enrichment of the home’s original form, focusing in on a site-sensitive response to the steep, challenging plot.

Perched atop a precipitous site, the structure has 180-degree views with a deck that runs around its perimeter. The original central courtyard, once open-to-sky, transformed into the kitchen – an appropriate gesture for an aspiring baker and a family of food enthusiasts. A large circular skylight streams daylight into the kitchen, creating a makeshift sundial that illuminates different sections of custom curved casework throughout the day.  An outdoor deck is strategically carved out at the intersection of the living room and kitchen – framing sprawling views of the South Bay. A Japanese style of charred wood siding, called Shou Sugi Ban, seamless concrete floors, crisp curved white walls, and minimalist interiors let the colorful and dramatic views speak first.

Beyond the imaginative design and technically skilled execution, the home, at its core, is a vessel for experiencing the ethereal beauty of the surroundings. “I just love the way the building opens up to the land, how it interacts with the site. The views and just the experience — what it really feels like from inside out—that, to me, is maybe the biggest success of the project” Steven Stept, AIA, Partner in Charge for Dwell Magazine.

LOCATION Los Altos Hills, California

PROJECT TEAM
Landscape Architect: Variegated Green
General Contractor: Baywest Builders
Lighting Design: Tucci Lighting
Structural Engineer: BKG Structural Engineers
Civil Engineer: Lea & Braze Engineering, Inc.
Geotechnical Consultant: Romig Engineers Inc
Arborist: Urban Tree Management
Photography: Adam Rouse

CASE STUDY
Process Case Study: Round House

 

 

Hillside Ranch

Hillside Ranch


Hillside Ranch

A 2.5-acre property with a deep sweeping meadow protected by a tall perimeter of trees became the perfect backdrop for our clients’ renovated Portola Valley escape. The existing structure is a fifties ranch style home with low ceilings, and a layout that fails to take advantage of westward views.

As a budget conscious solution, our team fully reconfigured the floor plan in of the existing home while retaining the original bones. The existing two car garage cuts off a meaningful connection to the land – the new design will eliminate the garage, placing an open floor plan kitchen, dining, and living room in its place, immersing occupants in the site’s lush greenery. The master suite will open westward as well, connected by balconies to public living areas. Outdoor living spaces will link the indoor to the out – occupants will flow seamlessly between the living room, the garden, outdoor sitting and dining, and the meadow.

The palette will be modern yet cozy, while preserving the architectural sensibilities of the existing structure as to not introduce a foreign, out of place addition. Bright, clean materials and light wood will create an understated, minimal aesthetic.

LOCATION Portola Valley, California

PROJECT TEAM

Landscape Architect: Rarefield