Project DescriptionThis home is situated on a wonderful but difficult site. The 6,000 sq. meters site offered captivating easterly views overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Because of it’s topography and other site constraints, however, we had approximately 600 sq. meters to place the home as well as the driveway, guest parking, and exterior living spaces.
Our work is always based on owner/site specific modernism drawing upon classic modernism, and using what I like to refer to as a Pan Pacific materials palate. This home was a good example of this as the owners are Japanese and American, and both had materials and spacial preferences based on their respective backgrounds.
Another aspect of our work (and this home perfectly signifies this) is designing for a California lifestyle which strives to maximize interior living space to exterior space connectivity, both visually and actually. Even with the vast amounts of glazing used to capture the easterly views, this home manages to be a zero net energy house. Although more common in Europe and Asia this is still fairly rare in California or the United States. This was achieved by appropriately placed overhangs, energy efficient glazing, and roof top mounted Photo Voltaic panels which are hidden from view from all ground perspectives on site.
The largest impediment was not be to meet the owners design program of a 3 bedroom modernist home on this small sloping site. This property is located in a planning jurisdiction which enforces older zoning ordinances that prescribe the city wide design of traditional homes. Thru vigilant interaction with the city and with multiple presentations at all stages of schematics, we eventual convinced them in the appropriateness of the design. This has sense opened a dialogue with this community and others in the area to revisit outdated ordinances and to not apply the same massing, materials and proportioning criteria on future Modernist homes.
Modern House Architects