Collection by Caroline Wallis

A Glass Pavilion With Stunning Panoramic Views Tops This California Home

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Hovering above its flat-roofed midcentury original, this transparent addition was designed for two renowned artists.

Albert and Frances Paley had approached Carmel-based architect John Thodos to create a “Zen” space for conversation and contemplation on the second level of their midcentury home. Between them, Albert is a world renowned metal sculptor and Frances a prolific fine artist. The challenge became highlighting sculptural elements without creating clutter, all while taking advantage of the amazing second-floor vistas. Working around some tough building codes, Thodos designed an expansive jewel-box pavilion atop the original residence with uninterrupted 360-degree views. The Paley House remodel and addition exemplifies the architect’s minimalist Mediterranean style, and was completed the same year the architect passed away. Dwell pays tribute to John Thodos, who received his FAIA Fellowship posthumously.

Erik Dyar, who worked under Thodos as a project architect, explains that the pavilion’s program “is expressed as a...
Creating such a minimal, unadorned Miesian structure was a challenge on top of an existing home.
Engineered white oak floors and a wide staircase up to the pavilion were the two primary changes to the downstairs.
Carmel’s 18-foot height restriction for the entire home dictated the height of the pavilion ceiling, which is vertical...
The 20-foot-by-30-foot space encourages the residents to take in the panoramic views of the ocean, trees, and hills...
In reference to the unembellished geometry of the addition, Dyar explains, “[Thodos] framed the pavilion in a steel...
A custom steel door opens on to the pavilion’s Ipe deck.
The interior’s minimal furnishing helps reenforce visual connections with the outdoors while accommodating basic...
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