Nestled amongst the oaks and redwoods on a steeply sloping site, the program called for preserving the core of the original house and extending the program around it. The intention of the design was to penetrate the existing house on either side, enabling the outdoor space of the trees to flow laterally the house and create extendable spaces of indoor outdoor living.
A series of four strands traverse the steep hillside overgrown with California Oaks. The house, which replaces the mid-century craftsman originally built on the site, maintains the crafted feel of the original while giving it a contemporary expression. The new structure book-ends the original core, bracing it on either side and allowing the removal of the congested interior partitions. The resulting space is flexible and continuous, and extends the play space into the canopy of the trees.
In order to preserve the main body of living areas on the upper floor amongst the tree tops, a glass staircase building was created as a transition from outdoor to indoor. This greenhouse-like structure also acts to store heat gathered in the morning. Filtered through the tree canopy, natural light enters at the tops of the walls by creating a series of strands whose roof pitches are staggered to allow the light to be reflected into the space off the sloping edges of the ceilings. All counter top materials are recycled glass. Bamboo flooring used throughout, and exterior materials are natural and maintenance free.