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
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.
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.
Planted roof garden and deck
4000-gallon rain and ground water reclamation tanks
Drought tolerant landscaping
In floor hydronic heating
Solar electric power
Solar thermal (hot water)
Interior air quality management system
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