Los Altos Hills, California
Our starting point for Foothills was the owner’s ambition to create a two-hundred-year house. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, a commitment was required from the entire project team to fully comprehend and then strategically plan for this scale of life-cycle. We began by segregating the construction systems of the house into two parts, permanent elements, and those designed for flexibility as technologies develop and uses evolve. We approached every element of the design and construction with a long view of time. The primary materials and systems were designed as robust and enduring while integrating with easily accessible electrical and mechanical systems that can be updated over time.
Set along the flats overlooking the Northern California hills, Foothills is defined by three pavilions connected by glass breezeways. The pavilions create distinct spaces for gathering, working, and playing. Each articulated by a shared vocabulary of free-standing stone walls, framed by tall windows that wash the interior spaces with natural light open views to the landscape. The house creates a strong, yet porous gesture in the landscape through which the surrounding drifts of native grasses and perennials can continue.
The design reaches for a broad challenge that we all face – to see our actions today as a part of the environment that generations to come will inherit. Foothills takes the necessary step of setting longevity as a design priority. The house creates a strong, yet porous gesture in the landscape through which the surrounding drifts of native grasses and perennials can continue. The architecture responds to its surroundings not only as a formal cue, but in an effort to use every resource at its disposal in order to endure.