The Site Challenge:

The house is located at the top of a beautiful lot, on which the owners have developed a lovely garden seen from all the rooms. The house was entered from the carport level by climbing a formidable and uncomfortable straight run of 14 risers with no overhang or shelter from the weather. The entry itself was a low cramped space.

The Program Requirements:

The building needed an inviting entry, a distinct living room, a second full bath, a study and storage. The focus on the garden from within was to continue.

The Design Strategy:

  • Reinforce the simple geometry of the original form with the new space repeating the shape and original material of the existing. Stress the entry as a joint between the old and new with the stair now expressed as a tower.
  • Extend the siding and color to the living room addition, stepped down from the old living area, to provide a higher ceiling appropriate to this larger space. Clerestory glazing provides light with privacy on two sides. The rear of the addition, like the original, opens up to the garden view.
  • Compose the sculpted entry and stair in contrast to the larger horizontal form. This plays against the background building and its similar addition, with color texture and material changes. It announces the entry to the street and the open design within allows glimpses of the garden beyond.
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