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Margarido House / Onion Flats

  • Architects: Onion Flats
  • Location: Oakland, CA, USA
  • Architect: Onion Flats (Plumbob Llc)
  • Interior Design & Construction Administration: Medium Plenty (Ian Read)
  • Structural Engineer: St. Onge & Associates
  • Owner / Developer: Mike McDonald (McDonald Construction & Development Inc.)
  • General Contractor: McDonald Construction & Development Inc.
  • Photographs: Mariko Reed

© Mariko Reed © Mariko Reed © Mariko Reed © Mariko Reed

From the architect. This single family home in the hills of Oakland, CA, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and all of San Francisco, is designed to merge comfortably into it’s difficult and steeply sloped site. It is also meant to provide a tranquil yet inspiring setting for a young couple, their two children and their aging in-laws. The physical site offered the project its greatest challenge and direction. It’s 17% slope coupled with height restrictions and adjacencies to neighboring homes required that the building be “bunkered” into the landscape. This became the source of the project’s programmatic, spatial and architectural strategy, which is centered around the entry or “knuckle” of the building.

© Mariko Reed
© Mariko Reed

This ‘knuckle’ functions as a ‘de-bunkering’ device for the building. It is also the organizational space of transition between the more public and private domains of the home. The ‘knuckle’ is a result of a subtle yet deliberate carving and terracing of the landscape away from the building, releasing it from bunkered status and creating an experience of tranquility and lightness in this heavily grounded building.

© Mariko Reed
© Mariko Reed

Planted roof garden and deck

4000-gallon rain and ground water reclamation tanks

Drought tolerant landscaping

Pervious paving

In floor hydronic heating

Solar electric power

Solar thermal (hot water)

Interior air quality management system

© Mariko Reed
© Mariko Reed

Locally sourced thermally broken doors & windows

Concrete with a minimum of 25% fly ash

Recycled concrete and glass counters

Soy based spray foam insulation

No-VOC paints and finishes

Smart house automation system

LED lighting

© Mariko Reed
© Mariko Reed
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:"Margarido House / Onion Flats" 04 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accesed . <http://www.archdaily.com/123687/margarido-house-onion-flats/>