Bal House / Terry & Terry Architecture

© Bruce Damonte

Architects: Terry & Terry Architecture
Location: 266 Santa Margarita Street, Menlo Park,
Completion Date: July 2011
Gross square footage: 2000 sq. ft..
Design Team: Alex Terry AIA, Ivan Terry
Engineers: Santos Urrutia Structural Engineers Inc.
Photographs: Bruce Damonte


© Bruce Damonte

This project was designed for a retiring couple, and necessitated the need for accessible space. The project ties the new addition in the rear garden area to an existing mid century ranch house by way of a transparent hallway that provides accessibility to the existing structure and allows the garden to extend into the core of the house.

© Bruce Damonte

The new addition comprises two floating volumes. The bedroom wing/volume on the West side of the existing house is continued toward the back as a wood tube form to accommodate an additional bedroom. The end of the bedroom volume is left open to the garden. The second volume houses the kitchen/dining and media area. The East wood wall plane of the main space is folded over onto two monolith concrete walls to form the main roof plane.

The result of the main space produces large transparent openings or voids that open out on to a deck at the rear garden. The same roof plane also warps out forward to form the carport roof toward the front of the property. A garden concrete wall stretches out toward the garden adjacent to a rear ramp and forms part of the cantilevered bench that echoes the concrete wall material of the media room.

© Bruce Damonte

The original structure, which houses the music room and two bedrooms/bathroom, was retained. Parts of this structure required renovating: A new steel bay window seat was inserted at the front bedroom to replace a small existing window, the front entry porch was extended and rebuilt with hardwood decking connecting to the new driveway. The fireplace chimney was reconstructed and is skinned with recycled epdm rubber along with the carport storage volume. A new hallway/passage and wood skinned storage wall was designed into the core of the structure to connect or engage the new addition with the existing structure.

© Bruce Damonte

The two wood volumes the “bedroom tube” and the “roof plane” both create a connection and openness to the garden by using transparency, clean minimal detail and simple materials.

© Bruce Damonte
Cite: "Bal House / Terry & Terry Architecture" 16 Feb 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 17 Sep 2014. <>


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    Really love the impecably finished concrete with the glass and timber. Also the detail of the timber floating seamlessly from inside to out.
    very nice.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Love the sense of the outside /inside quality in the extension, & the wood makes for a warmth in the material use.

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