Designed for a contractor and his wife, who were living in a San Francisco loft but wanted to move to the Silicon Valley to be closer to their work, this house takes on the spatial and material qualities of the urban loft and exports them to the suburbs.
The generating idea for the house is the Japanese garden design strategy of shakkei, or borrowed landscape. The section and siting of the building work together to screen the suburban “middle ground,” pulling the distant views of the Santa Cruz Mountains into the fore. With this strategy, the distant landscape becomes the fourth wall of the primary living and sleeping spaces, blending domesticity with an ever-changing sense of nature. The interior space extends into the landscape through a wall of garage door bays that completely open the loft-like living space to the garden. By placing the hearth in the garden, the living space is re-centered within the garden itself.
The Los Altos House, urban in language and sensibility, both exists in a suburban context and actively erases this context by replacing the inhabitants’ glimpses of suburbia with views of the natural landscape. The created and borrowed garden provides a new context for the house: a simulated Arcadia situated in an American middle landscape.
CMY Saw Horses
CMY saw horse tables are available in cyan, magenta and yellow leg dip. Fabricated out of hickory hardwood, these saw horses pay homage to classic work-shop saw horses, but simplify and minimize joinery to emphasize the graphic quality of the iconic saw horse shape.
Tables were designed and fabricated at envelope a+d, in Berkeley, California.
Limited production run. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing and general inquiries. Local pick up required.
Slow Food Nation - Coffee
San Francisco, CA
The Coffee Pavilion at the Slow Food Nation Taste Hall is conceived of as a filter for experience. Three sheer fabric enclosed Coffee Halls remove the visitor from the activity of the larger event. These tasting chambers offer a more intimate taste experience and allow visitors to focus on the cup in their hand, the nuances of the brew, the discussion with an expert. Coffee experts serve a flight of three to four coffees over a 12 minute session, teaching the differences in region, quality and roasting techniques.
The pavilion design is framed by an ethic of reuse. Scaffold, traffic barriers, folding tables are all rented items that will continue to be reused long after this event. The sheer voile fabric will be donated to the CCA Fashion Design Department for use by their students. The coffee bars are structured by an assemblage of discarded chairs, which will be reconditioned after the event. Purchased materials are either sustainable in their production or will be repurposed as building materials. More finely constructed elements - the coffee bars - will be reused for future events.
Andrew Barnett, Ecco Caffe
Eileen Hassi, Ritual Coffee Roasters
Tony Konecny, tonx.org
Crane Court Residence
Single Family Home
The Crane Court Residence began with a puzzle: how to resolve our client’s desire to have an inward-facing private courtyard house with the fact of a significantly sloping site with compelling outward facing views. The project solves the puzzle with a transformation of the courtyard house type, stepped to conform to the sloping site and with vertical surfaces opened to engage the interior living spaces with the experience of site. The result is a house that steps gracefully down the hillside with bedroom wings tucked under the primary living areas. The top surface of the lower bedroom volume creates an elevated rooftop terrace, protected on two sides and focused towards a distant view of the valley. The space of the living room focuses on a view of meadow on a prominent ridgeline, while the dining room and entry sequence nestles into the sheltered intimate undercanopy of a grove of existing Live Oaks.
Designed for a glazier and his family, the house is designed with maximum transparency to the near and distant views of the site. The solid components of the envelope are either cast-in-place concrete, as it rises from the ground, or a wood veneered phenolic rainscreen, which define the primary volumes of the building. The roof, gutters and eave edges are formed copper sheeting. The siting of the house was done to nestle the house into clusters of existing trees. The landscape design preferences the native California hillscape of Live Oaks and tall grasses.