A patriarch dreams to build a family home—”a jewel box for individual lifestyles”—in which he, his wife, and his four children’s future families will reside. A building concept is thereby required that can accommodate families that do—and do not yet—exist. The patriarch’s other wishes are that the ensemble of five homes has the architectural integrity of a single building, that the building look as though it has always been part of the site, and that it incorporate a classic double stair.
To create a structure in which each home can be experienced autonomously and as a component of a larger domestic network, the program is organized into a necklace whose gems alternate between the five homes and two shared pavilions: an event space and an entertainment pavilion. The extraordinary site commands views out to the ocean from a high bluff on one side, and into an old-growth forest on the other. Each of the five homes are thus afforded different site experiences: ocean, forest, or half-and-half.
To accommodate the possible needs and proclivities of families which do not yet exist, the homes are designed as unique gems on the necklace, each with a distinct living typology based loosely upon one of five canonical, Modernist homes. The residence’s exterior is wrapped in mirror glass which makes the building disappear into the site. The effect reduces the perception of the structure’s mass and surreptitiously achieves the patriarch’s desire for a structure that “looks as if it has always been part of the site” by looking like it isn’t there at all. Driving under the cantilevered home, one enters the arrival courtyard: a secret garden whose clear, fluted glass visually ties the three-generational family together. By night, the exterior’s mirror glass appears to dissolve, creating a lively lantern on the bluff.