Although it is described by the architects who designed it as a California ranch home, this Silicon Valley home is quite different than the ubiquitous ranches that pepper aging suburbs throughout the Golden State.
Nestled on a half acre lot, the Low/Rise House, designed by architects Spiegel Aihara Workshop used the Californian ranch house and farm tower as inspiration, and included eco-friendly materials, natural ventilation, and ample use natural light.
Varying textures and volumes is a common theme through the 4,500 square-foot house. The owners are two professors who demanded “varying use patterns” that could easily provided intimacy when it was just the couple at the house, yet one that offered “a spacious and integrated configuration for ten or more family members, and several hundred party guests.” According to the architects, that complex request inspired “the specific massing and siting of the building.”
The first floor of the Low/Rise House is made of two long structures that intersect. At the heart of that point is an open kitchen, providing one of the areas requested by its owners to support ample seating for family and guests. The kitchen is also a great location to view the tree-lined landscape outside, which is also easily visible from rooms throughout the home.
In yet another attempt to bring nature inside, private master suite opens into a fern garden in the eastern corner of the site, while large sliding glass doors suspend the living room within the landscape for family gatherings or larger events.
One of the most dramatic features of the home is the tower which provides living space for guests. The homeowners have ht ability to effectively shut off (socially and energy-wise) the guest spaces zone by zone during typical daily use. Atop the 30-foot tower, a roof deck emerges through the trees, providing a unique vantage point of the structure below as well as the surrounding neighborhood.