Los Altos Hills, California

Situated in the Silicon Valley suburban setting on a site with a dilapidated intermittent creek, Dawnridge began with re-envisioning the site as a reawakened fragment of the natural environment. The project presents a powerful departure from the increasingly urban character of the suburban landscape and reconnects the site to its larger ecological context. The architectural response is integral to its natural surroundings, and strives to re-establish the site as a wild place.

Dawnridge presented an opportunity to create a model for site-responsive development where architecture and ecological health are seen as mutually dependent entities. The design begins with a habitat designation of over 50% of the site, and restoration of the intermittent stream which winds along its Northern edge. The shaded riparian corridor bends to form a gentle rise in the hillside which is home to a magnificent Live Oak. In developing the spaces and sequences of movement, careful attention was given to the innate desire to follow the patterns and processes of water, which prioritized the creek as the driving characteristic of the site.

The house is envisioned as a low sloped ranch form which splits around the giant Live Oak to form a courtyard for outdoor living under the canopy of the magnificent tree. The symmetry of the sides is broken as the northern half appears to have drifted to follow the bend in the stream, and come to settle in perfect complement to the shape of the land. The resulting space between the two sides of the house creates a view corridor that connects the majestic Oak on the one side, with a long view up the stream on the other side.


Oak Woodland, Riparian

Year Completed

In progress