This house positions itself as a backdrop to a spectacular site, with a dense canopy of trees in front and steep ravine in back. Our goal was to preserve all of the site’s large live oaks while creating a sense of transparency that allows the landscape to flow through the living spaces.
The original “French style” house from the 1970s had some “good bones” and our strategy was to preserve as much of the structure as we could, while introducing a new design language. New masonry walls extend the house and weave carefully between the trees, creating interior and exterior public rooms on the lower level, while supporting a “floating box” of private spaces above.
The house explores modern design tropes—large glass planes, ribbon windows— and makes use of basic, inexpensive construction techniques. Preservation of the trees, upgrading the building envelope, and installing green roofs showcase both environmental and aesthetic priorities.