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HILLSIDE HOUSE

Portola Valley, California

Situated in a pocket of classic Oak woodlands in Portola Valley, the site of this home addition had partial views of the incredible landscape below, but lacked physical access to its full splendor. Analogous to a fallen log, the addition extends out from the original home to inhabit the slope, laying host to a new and unexpected habitable micro-environment. Gently cascading down the hillside, it echoes the natural slope of the site with a long, broad flowing stair lined with panoramic windows to capture views of the valley. As it terminates, a deck is laid forth and seemingly slips under the curtain wall beyond, spilling out onto a grassy play area and forming a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living. Morning and evening light filtering through the trees create a dappled light that plays on the building and blends the house into the wooded hillside. Nature and nurture, soil and sun are reinforced through all materials.  The consistent color of the exterior panels forms a warm canvas for the light cast through the trees to create a brilliant exhibition of light and shadow dancing across the East and West façade as the sun moves throughout the day. The obscured forms of the surrounding trees dematerialize the house which is consumed into the hillside. On the interior, surfaces are faced with horizontally laid Eucalyptus and “cut-outs” in the cabinetry create small, warm apertures in the West façade where dramatic evening sun lights up the house and signals, “Its dinner time!”

Landscape

Steep Sloping

Year Completed

2011

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