A young Palo Alto couple with three children came to us with the desire to build a modern home with ample room for their family as well as generous social spaces that seamlessly flow from the inside out with as little circulation space as possible. Though the constraints of their small lot posed a challenge, by handling the design for the landscape, architecture, and interiors, we were able to create a cohesive whole that highlights comfort, efficiency, spaciousness, and light.
The challenge of fitting their sizable program into two stories and a basement while maximizing the remaining outdoor space was achieved through a careful approach to site design, where we positioned the house at the outermost corner to preserve the rear yard and optimized the massing to achieve the maximum allowable interior volume. From the street, the house appears to hover lightly above the ground, a composition of stacked volumes that is emphasized by through materiality: board-formed concrete for the basement, cedar and larch siding for the main level, and dark panelized zinc for the top floor.
These various materials are stitched into a cohesive whole through attention to detail both inside and out, with every corner and transition thoroughly considered to reinforce a consistent formal and material narrative. This final level of detail and ornament lend a human scale and hand-crafted feel to the abstracted forms and dramatic materiality of this modern home, a contemporary reinterpretation of the traditional charm of the home that once stood on this site.