Portola Valley has a heritage of horse ranching among pristine native woodland / grassland habitats. This situation gave rise to an architectural expression that perpetuates this culture, while fostering a responsible cohabitation of the land.
With enough time on site, we were able to trace the game paths that traversed the site from East to West. These daily and seasonal routes connected the site to the bigger landscape of Canyon and its eventual merge with the Portola Valley. We situated all the habitable structures on one horizontal contour that threaded through four Northern California mature oak species on the steeply sloping site. This enabled the stables and pasture to inhabit the grassland meadow below protecting the slope, and restoring the grasslands to their native splendor.