The Crane Court Residence began with a puzzle: how to resolve our client’s desire to have an inward-facing private courtyard house with the fact of a significantly sloping site with compelling outward facing views. The project solves the puzzle with a transformation of the courtyard house type, stepped to conform to the sloping site and with vertical surfaces opened to engage the interior living spaces with the experience of site. The result is a house that steps gracefully down the hillside with bedroom wings tucked under the primary living areas. The top surface of the lower bedroom volume creates an elevated rooftop terrace, protected on two sides and focused towards a distant view of the valley. The space of the living room focuses on a view of meadow on a prominent ridgeline, while the dining room and entry sequence nestles into the sheltered intimate undercanopy of a grove of existing Live Oaks.
Designed for a glazier and his family, the house is designed with maximum transparency to the near and distant views of the site. The solid components of the envelope are either cast-in-place concrete, as it rises from the ground, or a wood veneered phenolic rainscreen, which define the primary volumes of the building. The roof, gutters and eave edges are formed copper sheeting. The siting of the house was done to nestle the house into clusters of existing trees. The landscape design preferences the native California hillscape of Live Oaks and tall grasses.
Images © Cesar Rubio