These simply organized structures, a cottage and office, have been built to replace buildings that were already on the property but were inefficient, structurally compromised and in serious disrepair. Designed by architects Bohlin Cywinski Jackson in Woodside, California, there is a 600 square foot Guest House, 550 square foot Caretaker Cottage, 370 square foot Caretaker Office. Rebuilding within the footprints of the former structures allowed for the introduction of a clear relationship between the buildings and better response to the site. While architecturally similar, the two new buildings are programmatically diverse with the cottage housing the living elements of the program, and the office hosting the working component.
Material, structure and craftsmanship played a vital role in the realization of these two modest buildings. They sit at the edge of a creek between the public world of the entry drive and the secluded forested creek. Western Red Cedar clad boxes, constructed with the precision and thoughtfulness of a cabinet, face the entry drive while more private glazed living areas open up to the creek.
The weathered cedar boxes contain the service elements of the program: a galley kitchen, bathrooms, an office and utility rooms. Delicate ribbon windows are strategically placed in the simple facades providing specific views, introducing light, and maintaining privacy where required. The language of this cedar skin continues inside, at times peeled away, revealing Douglas Fir siding and structure. Rafters project from the cedar boxes extending outwards, drawing one’s eyes towards the tangled oaks and moss covered rocks of the active creek. The pure glazed living areas open themselves onto the natural world. The siding and structure provide warmth to the glass boxes, and in the evening hours the spaces glow.
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