Text description provided by the architects. Located on the peninsula south of San Francisco, this house sits on an internal suburban flag lot. The previous 1950’s house, which was removed due to structural problems, featured mature landscaping and a manmade pond that the clients wanted to preserve. They wanted their new house to be a private retreat that maximizes the drama of the pond and takes advantage of the privacy of the site. As advocates of year round outdoor dining and entertaining, the clients wanted a house that would open up to the landscape and have as many outdoor rooms as possible.
The design solution breaks the program into four buildings – main house, study, pool house and garage – that ring the edge of the site and focus inwards on the pond, garden and pool. The main house features a butterfly roof that turns up to the south with a dramatic overhang. Large sliding glass doors open directly out to the pond and terrace.
The roofs conceal photovoltaic and solar hot water panels. The house is heated with a radiant system in the stone floors, and despite the hot climate it is not air conditioned, but passively cooled with a combination of overhangs, shades, and operable windows. The house also features many green building materials, including high fly-ash concrete, formaldehyde-free casework and denim insulation. The new house creates a special place for the clients, making a main residence feel like a vacation retreat.