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Portola Valley Residence

  • project: Portola Valley Residence
  • status: Design Development
  • location: Portola Valley, CA
  • size: 1,200 sf

A remodel and addition to an existing mid-century modern house, this residence is located in wooded Portola Valley with a rural feel yet at the same time not far from the heart of Silicon Valley. Needing a dedicated office for telecommuting as well as potential for a future bedroom as the family grows, the client wanted the addition to tie into the existing house but also be more grand spatially and connect to the expansive views of the oak woodlands and rolling hills of the site. The addition entails bedrooms, mudroom and possible future in-law unit on the ground level with vertical addition and separate office on the second level. This office and study space acts as a light gathering volume during the day and a glowing lantern in the evening. Along with natural and robust materials, generous daylighting, operable windows and connections to the landscape, the addition allows for a light filled and warm modern space of solace for family living.

The primary objective of the design is to replan the closed layout of the home and from this replanning, to connect each space within the house in a much more specific and surprising way to the landscape, to light and to adjacent interior spaces. To improve the existing layout, the house is reconfigured into private space of bedrooms and baths and the more public spaces for family gathering. The division between these spaces is the entry and a densely planted path and linear courtyard from the street to the rear yard. The courtyard serves as source of natural light and ventilation. Adjacent to the courtyard and central to the house is a multifunctional sunroom – a place for guests to gather, a place for reading and music or simply a space to relax and track the motion of the sun throughout the day. The public spaces within the house are both open to each other while maintaining a certain intimacy and scale contrary to the modernist tendency for open, non-specific space.