- Project Name
- OZ Residence
- Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects
- Olana and Zain Khan
- Project Types
- Single Family
- Project Scope
- New Construction
- 17,000 sq. feet
- Shared by
Stanley Saitowitz (design principal)
Neil Kaye, AIA, Michael Luke (project architects)
Steven Sanchez (project designer/manager)
General Contractor: Redhorse Constructors,Landscape Architect: Christopher Yates Landscape Architecture,Civil Engineer: Lea and Braze Engineering,Structural Engineer: Yu Structural Engineers,Plumbing Engineer: Monterey Energy Group,Other: Monterey Energy Group,Electrical Engineer: Techlinea,Lighting Designer: Anna Kondolf Lighting Design,Other: Sight and Sounds
- Project Status
San Francisco–based architect Stanley Saitowitz has compared his design for the OZ Residence to an iPhone—a deceptively simple-looking object whose minimalist exterior obscures a great deal of complexity. Located at the end of a cul-de-sac on a hill in Atherton, Calif., the 17,000-square-foot complex is oriented so that it has views of San Francisco, which is located about 25 miles to the north. “This is the high point in the neighborhood,” Saitowitz says.
The south-facing façades, along the street, are almost entirely opaque; those facing the landscaped property are almost entirely glazed. Saitowitz and his firm, Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects, composed the house out of two L-shaped masses that overlap in plan and section around a central courtyard. The western L has spaces on the ground floor and basement, which, thanks to the site’s downward western slope, offers views and access to natural light; the eastern L contains spaces on the ground and second floors. The western end of each L terminates in a cantilever.
The entry hall in the western volume is bookended by the living room and a stair to a basement recreation room. The other leg contains a sequence of dining, kitchen, and family rooms. In the eastern volume, four children’s bedrooms sit above a four-car garage and guest room. The second floor also houses the master suite, which spans the ground-level courtyard and then cantilevers over the backyard.
The ground-floor and basement façades are composed of exposed concrete and glass, and the second floor is sheathed in white stucco and glass. The interiors are equally straightforward, with light oak flooring and exposed concrete ceilings on the ground floor.
Aside from the plan, another complex feature of the house lies in how Saitowitz realized the house’s aesthetic through an integrated composite of structural systems. Post-tensioned concrete is employed for the basement and ground floor, including the ceilings on the main level; the second floor and roof are framed in wood, supplemented by steel for the larger spans, including the two cantilevers and courtyard bridge.
Precise glazing detailing was critical to the house’s minimal expression. The 13-foot-tall windows conceal the floor framing and ceiling soffit. “It’s almost an office building curtainwall detail,” Saitowitz says, noting that his practice’s range of project typologies enriches their approach to single-family residential design. OZ Residence, completed in January, is an elegant exercise in creating a house with a minimal palette and limited, yet bold, formal moves.
Project: OZ Residence, Atherton, Calif.
Client: Olana and Zain Khan
Design Architect/Interiors: Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects, San Francisco • Stanley Saitowitz (design principal); Neil Kaye, AIA, Michael Luke (project architects); Steven Sanchez (project designer/manager)
General Contractor and Project/Construction Manager: Redhorse Constructors
Landscape: Christopher Yates Landscape Architecture
Civil Engineer: Lea & Braze Engineering
Structural: Yu Structural Engineers
Mechanical/Plumbing: Monterey Energy Group
Lighting: Anna Kondolf Lighting Design
Audio Visual: Sight and Sounds
Size: 17,000 square feet
This article appeared in ARCHITECT's June 2017 issue.