Cling to Summer a Little Longer at This Indoor Oasis

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By Luke Hopping / Published by Dwell
In Silicon Valley, an indoor swim spa-and-exercise room offers a soothing escape.

In most parts of the United States, summer’s glow has already faded to an ember. Yet in Northern California, the season lives on at a backyard paradise complete with a swim spa and workout room. 

Cling to Summer a Little Longer at This Indoor Oasis - Photo 1 of 3 - The addition’s roofline rises northward to capture daylight through a series of operable skylights. 

The addition’s roofline rises northward to capture daylight through a series of operable skylights. 

For Hwang DeWitt Architecture’s Chad DeWitt, who designed the project, the question was whether the new structure should mimic the architecture of the existing residence, a classic California ranch house, or oppose it. Ultimately, the architects chose to juxtapose the two, taking inspiration from modern additions to historic buildings they’d seen in Europe.

Cling to Summer a Little Longer at This Indoor Oasis - Photo 2 of 3 - A box contained within the addition provides space for exercise. The interior is wrapped in marine-grade plywood. 

A box contained within the addition provides space for exercise. The interior is wrapped in marine-grade plywood. 

Unlike the relatively traditional residence, with its cement-tile roof and mullioned windows, the addition is clad in a cedar rain screen and its inside is lined with hypnotic marine-grade plywood.   

Cling to Summer a Little Longer at This Indoor Oasis - Photo 3 of 3 - The geometric addition, with its cedar rain screen, is joined at the hip with the more traditional residence.

The geometric addition, with its cedar rain screen, is joined at the hip with the more traditional residence.

These stylistic departures contrast old and new, but also respond to practical considerations. The addition’s non-orthogonal floor plan, one of its most immediately striking qualities, was chosen by the architects as a workaround to the site’s tricky build-able area constraints.

 

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