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Waverley House / Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects

Waverley House / Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects

© Matthew Millman © Joe Fletcher © Matthew Millman © Matthew Millman + 22

Palo Alto, United States
  • Design Team

    Steven Ehrlich, Takashi Yanai, Peter Hamilton, Brendan Canning, Gavin Argo
  • Landscape

    Blasen Landscape Architecture
  • Interior Designer

    Kristi Will Home + Design
  • Lighting Designer

    DWP Lighting Design
  • General Contractor

    Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders
  • Structural Engineering

    GFDS Engineers
  • Civil Engineer

    Lea & Braze Engineering, Inc.
  • Kitchen Consultant

    Bulthaup Los Angeles
  • Bulthaup Los Angeles

    Chris French Metals, Inc.
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© Matthew Millman
© Matthew Millman

Text description provided by the architects. Designed for a young couple, the 5,000 sf home and 1,700 sf back house sit on a flat 21,000 sf lot in a 1920’s Palo Alto neighborhood. The architecture is a study in strong simple composition and highly refined materiality with an emphasis on craft. The massing defines solid and void, captures natural light, and connects the indoors with the landscape, seeking to ‘experience the outdoors from within.’

© Joe Fletcher
© Joe Fletcher

The ground floor volumes wrapped in an elongated hand-fired brick from Denmark, emphasizing the horizontality of the architecture that lays solidly on the land.  Bronze-trimmed ceiling planes slide between the brick masses, and floor-to-ceiling glazed openings are captured by thin-profiled bronze frames.

© Matthew Millman
© Matthew Millman

In contrast to the grounded brick volumes, the second floor is clad in stainless steel panels and oversized aluminum-framed windows. The lightness and openness of the second floor is nestled among the oak-tree canopies of the site.  At the basement level, a wine cellar and tasting room open to a sunken landscaped courtyard. A 30ft by 10ft continuous pane of glass runs alongside the grand stairwell of floating stone steps, connecting the three levels of the house.

Plans
Plans
Section
Section

Due to the unprecedented size of this glass in residential design, it was custom manufactured in Germany and shipped to California. This dramatic moment in the sequence of progressing through the house helps visitors feel connected to the lush landscape outside.

© Matthew Millman
© Matthew Millman

Inside the house, materials such as a custom leather door and bronze anodized details were selected for their unique craftsman-style quality. Another custom-designed element is the steel mesh screen that wraps around to enclose the kitchen for privacy, separating this from the more public “guest hosting” areas adjacent. The steel screen slides along a track embedded into the teak slatted ceiling and disappears into the pantry when retracted.

© Matthew Millman
© Matthew Millman

A freestanding structure set deep back into the site is a zen-like fitness/yoga studio as well as a guesthouse with a kitchenette. This dramatic stone mass opens up completely in the center to give the impression of exercising outdoors. The landscape integrates California native plant species, grasses and trees to compliment the materiality of the architecture.

© Matthew Millman
© Matthew Millman

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About this office
Cite: "Waverley House / Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects" 19 Nov 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/928674/waverley-house-ehrlich-architects/> ISSN 0719-8884

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