This astounding home located on a half acre lot in Silicon Valley was imagined as a re-interpretation of traditional shapes corrupted by the need to live a comfortable, low maintenance lifestyle in privacy and alongside family and friends. Designed by architects Spiegel Aihara Workshop, the home known as Low/Rise House uses the principles of traditional Californian ranch house and farm tower to create a high life through modern design. Natural ventilation and solar energy use are two of the home’s eco-traits – they mirror the use of volumes, textures and transparency for comfort and connection.
The traditional Californian ranch house and farm tower become a contemporary shelter and socialization spot immersed into the site via environmentally-friendly choices. Photographed by Bruce Damonte, the 4.500 square feet in Menlo Park, California, is home for two professors with grown children who needed their home to “accommodate varying use patterns, creating an intimate environment for their own use as a couple, yet allowing for a spacious and integrated configuration for ten or more family members, and several hundred party guests. This complex programmatic request inspires the specific massing and siting of the building.”
With a poetic ambiance radiating through, the Low/Rise House boasts a first floor shaped by “two long and narrow structures that intersect in an open kitchen, providing distinct programmatic areas and settling into the tree-lined landscape, allowing yards to surround and permeate each room. Subtle rotations of the geometry assist in way-finding, as well as identification of the more public and more private functions. The 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. A compact and vertical guest tower is sited at the western corner of the lot amongst tall evergreens, allowing for a more private guest experience, more compact floor plan, and the 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 and the surrounding townscape.” Brilliant dream home integrating a new type of suburban living, merging urban and rural, don’t you think so?