The Flight House is a modern interpretation of a mountain home designed by Sage Architecture, set in the Martis Camp development in the high Sierras of Truckee, California. The clients were long‐time lovers of modern architecture, with a particular affinity for mid-century modern design. This home was meant to be a place to get away from the city life, get back to nature, and “play together” as a family. The architects named the home, “Flight House” to reflect the concept of escape but also because of the curving roof lines.
This is not your typical log cabin. Nor is it your typical square edged box‐like modern house or “A” frame. Instead, the home is graced by two large arching wing‐shaped roofs to shelter the main living space and bedroom areas. The two wings of the home offer very different experiences with the surrounding environment. In the main living space, the great room is slab‐on‐grade with a polished concrete floor that extends to the outside and feels “grounded”.
The bedroom wing “takes flight” off the land – as the terrain gently slopes down, the building gradually steps up, culminating in a floating 3‐sided glass box in the master suite for a tree house experience. The entry to the home is defined by a third smaller curved roof structure, sheltering visitors and creating a softly defined separation between the outdoor courtyard space situated on the front, sunny exposure side of the home and the street beyond.
All the roof structures are created with huge curved glu‐lam beams. Because we place a large emphasis on passive solar design in our homes, the exterior gathering space wanted to be on the front side of the house to gain the best southern exposure. A deep overhang at the main gathering space creates a second protected outdoor gathering space, while shielding the home from the hotter summer sun.
In the winter, when the sun dips lower in the sky, the sun penetrates into the inner spaces and with the polished concrete floor acting as a heat sink, absorbs this natural heat to warm the space. Overall, the home is heated with energy efficient radiant flooring. And there is no air conditioning. Instead, windows are strategically placed to allow cross ventilation through spaces for natural breezes.
Inside the home, spaces are left clean and unadorned to emphasize the sweeping curve of the roof when possible. As visitors travel down the gallery hall to the main living space, a series of cedar‐clad boxes sit within the larger space where the glu‐lam beams rise above. In terms of materials, the exterior is clad in stained cedar siding and Corten steel.
An emphasis was placed on low maintenance materials. The roof is a combination of standing seamed metal roofing where visible, but the majority of the home’s roof is actually a single ply membrane “cool roof” for better energy efficiency in the warmer summer months.
We selected a muted natural palette for the interior spaces, using woods in their natural colorations with no tinting or stains. The floors in the elevated wing of the house are sustainably harvested teak. Walls and ceilings are clad in cedar. And all cabinetry throughout is walnut. Other wall surfaces were painted a crisp white to function as gallery space for our clients’ art collection.
Light fixtures and tile products were all selected and placed to emphasize the long horizontal lines of the building and to pick up the mid-century modern vibe our clients loved.
This home puts a modern twist on what a mountain home should be. We were fortunate to work with clients who could see the sculptural beauty in the design and wanted to create a piece of art in the forest. Flight House was the result of marrying modern design with a mountain environment, with a little drama thrown in for good measure.
Photos: Vance Fox Photography
This Brentwood estate at 534 Crestline Drive showcases a rare blend of architectural excellence infused with inspiring function throughout, with an elegantly refined limestone facade holding an interior of astonishing space and ample luxury. Sheltered by a private gate and secluded by surrounding trees and greenery, this self-contained 12,720 square foot, seven bedroom, eleven bathroom California residence was crafted to entice by continually offering more than is immediately evident in every experience.
This sensational luxury home spotted on The Agency is listed at $18,000,000, from here.
Towering front doors open on a grand foyer beyond which the home unfolds into ever more elaborate spaces for relaxation and comfort. Oversized living spaces with warming fireplaces and large windows offer natural gathering places and nurturing areas for quiet reflection. The gourmet kitchen is filled with calacatta marble countertops, Wolf appliances and a wall of Fleetwood doors that open onto a terrace for lounging with expansive ocean views.
The lower floor holds dual theaters, a formal movie theater and a summer theater, both of which can be controlled by the in-home automation system. The exterior wall of the summer theater disappears to blend into the heated outdoor living area for year-round entertaining. Below is a custom wine cellar and companion tasting room with a window that becomes a rear projection screen at the touch of a button.
Presiding above it all, the master suite offers a gracious third floor sanctuary featuring its own fireplace, his and hers master baths and walk-in closets, a private balcony and the best views on the estate. Each master bath offers personalized details including a personal sauna and in-mirror TV in his, and a vanity and large soaking tub in hers. Six additional en suite guest rooms are spread throughout the home.
Outside an oversized infinity pool with Baja elevation offers an oasis for sunning while nearby steps descend to a private fire pit area and a bonus room that would serve well as a personal gym or music studio. To the right of the home, hidden from view beneath an outdoor living area is the guesthouse. A generous and secluded single bedroom hideaway with a full kitchen and garden views, the ideal place for long-term guests or older children looking for some space and privacy of their own.
The Crestron home-automation system offers control of all Touch panels placed throughout the estate allow access to the Crestron home-automation system that can be used to control lighting, the music system, motorized shades and more.
The Conrad Residence is a modern property redesigned to maximize views and living space by Swatt | Miers Architects, located in Sausalito, a San Francisco Bay Area city in Marin County, California. The residence was built over the footprint of a 1950’s residence by noted Bay Area modernist Rodger Lee that over the years had suffered irreparable structural damage.
The new design doubles the area of the house to 2,700 square feet while maintaining the original emphasis on the expressive use of wood and the distribution of public and private spaces.
The new design retains the spirit of the original on the exterior and the interior through its expressive use of wood structure and finishes. Strip windows and cedar siding emphasize the horizontality of the design, extending the lines of the house into the site, and helping nestle the house into the hillside.
Post-and-beam construction is used to reveal the structure of the house and articulates the grid upon which is it is base. Tongue and groove cedar soffits visually connect interior spaces to decks and terraces beyond.
Exposed woodwork, concrete, and stainless steel details complete the plan.
Photos: Cesar Rubio
Manhattan Beach Residence is the conversion of an existing three story property into a family home by Abramson Teiger Architects, located in Manhattan Beach, California. Located on a walk street, the original 1940’s stucco box was in need of an update. The clients were ready to move back to the beach and wanted to transform this property into their main home.
On the exterior the architects re-built the front facade with large openings creating a connection with the pedestrian friendly walk street . The exterior pallet is a subtle mix of smooth trowel stucco, honed limestone and dark stained mahogany siding. The living room with master bedroom above was articulated in a wood box breaking down the overall massing and gesturing towards Santa Monica Bay and views toward the north.
The public entry sequence pulls you through the front garden leading to the entry in the heart of the house where a custom designed walnut and stainless door opens into a 2 story foyer. Above the door a ledge and new window creates back lighting for an antique water wheel selected by the client.
The middle floor contains the main living spaces increased in length by combining the two units. The central two story kitchen is washed with light from multiple skylights flooding into the adjoining living and dining rooms. Custom millwork embraces a built in couch in the family room. The pantry, storage closet and powder room are all concealed behind walnut stained veneer cabinetry.
On the third floor the master bedroom occupies the view corner while an open passage leads through the master bath and continues across the bridge looking into the living spaces below and accessing the roof deck at the rear of the house.
The large roof deck is a private oasis for the clients to entertain and enjoy morning coffee.
Photos: Douglas Hill
25th Street Residence is a Victorian home designed by Geremia Design, located in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco, California with a storybook facade and modern interior. The homes blueprint for stylish living addresses the ever-changing needs of a growing family. The designed wanted the house to be durable, functional, and flexible while still maintaining a strong design perspective.
We worked with a newly-wed couple to build out this Victorian home in Noe Valley. We dove into a full-scale remodel that transformed the traditional Victorian into a bright, modern home that can accommodate their growing family.
Geremia Design directed the layout of both the interior and the exterior, using innovative materials and finishes. Custom light fixtures and furniture are the highlights of this project.
1. Divide and Conquer
Geremia’s team decided to approach the front living space as “an adult entertaining zone.” The custom-made sectional (visible above in the far right corner, behind a low storage piece holding games, toys, and books) is located between the wall and a hot-rolled steel–clad closet, creating a “corral” in which the kids can play within eyesight of the adults. The closet doubles as an industrial statement and—thanks to its magnetic surface—a place to display postcards and drawings.
2. Keep Your Options Open
Geremia bypassed the traditional concept of a singular dining space in favor of multiple seating options to reflect everyday and entertaining needs. The dining table accommodates eight for a dinner party, while the durable barstools at the concrete island work perfectly for casual weeknight meals for this family of three.
3. Keep It Simple (But Add Interest)
Geremia opted to keep things fairly neutral in the nursery, allowing her client’s son to grow in a space that would stay relevant. Eschewing a totally minimalist aesthetic, she enlisted a former Rhode Island School of Design classmate, Terry Powers, to paint a mural inspired by animal imagery from the ’70s. Touches of bold color—a tangerine screen-printed blanket by Caroline Z. Hurley, a lacquered blue display shelf by Brooklyn’s Wintercheck Factory—round out the room.
Photos: Matthew Millman
The Norwich Drive Residence features inspiring design and novel use of materials, the personal home of architect Clive Wilkinson, located in West Hollywood, California. The 3,300 square foot house was designed by the architect with the need to address two separate issues. From an urban design perspective, it needed to conform to City of West Hollywood design guidelines and fit into a small scale residential neighborhood, at the same time as transitioning in scale from the adjacent commercial strip of Melrose Avenue. In response to interest from friends, it also needed to provide a kind of prototype for an economical ‘starter urban house’ that would accommodate the new young urbanite lifestyle.
The second goal was complicated by specific site conditions: the lot was a non-standard trapezoidal form, widening towards the rear, as well as having a commercial building to the north that overlooked the site.
In an effort to reduce the house to a set of essential ideas, responses to existing conditions began to set the pattern of the house. The mass to the street was broken down allowing a single story over the garage and roof terrace. It was possible to screen the front yard with greenery, so an olive grove was planted up to the street. On entering the front gate, a visitor can see the full depth of the site – from the olive grove, through the glazed living room, to the rear yard and swimming pool – which enlarges the scale of the house. The living room is compressed in height, but opens to the two-story kitchen/dining room. All links between rooms are articulated on the diagonal with openings in corners, which again enlarges the sense of space.
The house addresses contemporary California living. There is one unified social space – the heart of the house – comprising living, dining and kitchen. Bedrooms are simple spaces re-convertible into studio or office type uses, especially the upstairs front room which is divided with a sliding wall. The master bedroom is located on the ground to emphasize a separation from the outside world (no views over the neighborhood) and a close link to the heart of the house. It has open bath and dressing areas, and a concealed video projection system for watching TV or movies in bed. The bathroom has a freestanding bath that opens to the pool via sliding doors, and the shower has double glass doors that allow wet bathers to shower directly after swimming without wetting the interior. Video projection is also used in the living room.
The building is a smooth stucco box – a vernacular LA type – with the living areas opening up to the exterior via large sliding glass doors. The house’s environmental performance is passive and uses basic sustainability ideas: electrically operated skylights exhaust hot air using a chimney effect in the double height space – and keep warm air inside during winter, insulation is optimized, underfloor heating is provided on ground level and the outside landscape uses a low water xeriscape approach, with a mostly gravel ground cover suitable for the desert location. From another sustainable viewpoint, the house is located in walking distance of the owner’s office, as well as walking distance of about 35 restaurants and bars, reducing car use considerably.
There is a raw expression of structure throughout the house – ceilings are exposed diagonal wood sheathing with a sprayed insulation roof on top. Floors are either smooth concrete, or wide plank quarter sawn oak, or white rubber stud. Walls are white drywall. Clive Wilkinson uses color and creative expression in many of his projects, but the intention here was to avoid expression and achieve a house that was both a simple art studio, which allowed the mind to wander without associations, and an adaptable place to socialize with friends.
Photos: Benny Chan, Fotoworks
Woodside Estate is a custom home comprised of 7,200 square feet of living space, recently designed by FGY Architects, located in Woodside, California. This custom estate encompasses a Main house, Pool House, Art Studio, and detached garage. The stone and stucco house, reminiscent of rustic stone homes from the south of France, looks out onto the pool and yard on one side and inward to an enclosed courtyard on the other. Modern technology is hidden amongst the historic detailing as the whole house can be controlled by iPad’s embedded in the walls or remotely on a phone.
Fergus Garber Young Architects is a full-service architectural firm providing a higher level of attention, management and environmental stewardship to clients, both residential and commercial, that have a long term interest in their property.
We create projects that both we and our clients are proud of. Our clients value our ability to understand them. The varied architectural styles of our projects reflect our goal to embrace our clients’ interests and desires. We match their goals to the essential qualities of good architecture: strong plans, good proportions, and a high attention to detail to make functional and beautiful houses.
Photos: © Bernardo Grijalva Photography
Santa Monica Residence is an extension project to a mid century home, the vision of architecture studio Jendretzki, located in Santa Monica, California. Completed in 2012, this beautiful pavilion was inspired by the clients’ appreciation for Scandinavian design.
This new pavilion added to an existing mid century house in the Rustic Canyon area of Santa Monica bordering the Pacific Palisades involved negotiating the high functioning requirements of a Los Angeles based family and their love for Scandinavian design and detailing.
By utilizing a muted material palette of light toned wood and glass we were able to harmoniously engage the southern California sun and create a tranquil work studio and inviting home.
The building has a total surface of 12,000 square feet and is well connected with its surroundings. The interiors are characterized by a minimalist approach, with wood playing a major role in creating a friendly atmosphere. Simple lines and ingenious functionality are two of the main features of this Santa Monica Residence.
Photos: Alejandro Wirth
Sausalito Hillside Remodel is a 1940s ranch style home transformed into a family retreat by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, located in Sausalito, California. The architects renovated this two-unit ranch house into a serene, single-family retreat that captures sweeping views of San Francisco Bay. Perched on a steeply sloping hillside in Sausalito, the 3,888 square foot house is nearly invisible from the street.
We replaced the original aggregation of roof shapes on the upper level with a simple, light-filled building volume. A cascading series of garden terraces creates an inviting entry sequence along the north side, allowing the original front-yard to be developed as a private garden.
Inside, floor to ceiling windows and generous ceiling heights allow the living spaces to flow uninterrupted from the lush backdrop of the hillside garden, to the broad panorama of the bay. As a result, the soaring view is grounded by a strong connection to the land.
Photos: Mathew Millman
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