The architectural response to the project program originated with an analysis of public/private spaces and the division of served and service spaces. The design's parti first organizes uses by floor: children daytime activities are centered on the lower level, public oriented uses occur on the main floor, and private family spaces are located on the upper level. On each floor, service functions are then separated from those that are served - main spaces are located along the front of the residence and support services located to the rear. Fundamental to the concept of the design is a linear, light filled gallery that separates the served from service functions. A sky-lit, two-story space that extends the full length of the house, the gallery is the glass link that bridges between the separated uses. The design's resolution is a clear diagram; a cantilevered office on the main floor serves as the sole sculptural counterpoint to an otherwise rational plan.
Material selection and construction details employed reinforce the project's conceptual parti; the various volumes are clearly differentiated by cladding, color, and material.
Public served functions are developed in a "loft" like space on the main level. This volume is defined by extensive glazing on three sides and structurally by a series of steel moment frames. This public space affords maximum flexibility for entertaining
The project site is a steep slope corner lot in a prestigious neighborhood. Existing conditions include neighboring residences to the west and north, a busy arterial below, and a residential street to the east. While a former house on the site was demolished, existing grade conditions and site retaining walls had to be maintained. In-place foundations, garages, and gardens determined the footprint for the new residence as well as guided the locations for the interface between interior and exterior spaces.
The owner's program called for the residence to accommodate a family of six that would also serve as a platform for entertaining and displaying a growing collection of contemporary art. The program also called for a group of exterior garden spaces directly accessible from various interior rooms.
Inherent to the program was the need to find a balance between private and public functions yet maintain a cohesive, clear concept that unified the design into a whole. The clients emphasized that they wanted a house that was family oriented and functional —