The house is divided into three sections connected by a series of outdoor galleries. “When I walk from one room to another, I have to go outdoors and feel the weather and nature—rain, cold, and sun,” says Sævik. Instead of emphasizing the expansive panorama of oak, pine, and aspen trees, the house frames select views—a move inspired by Japanese design.
To the architects’ surprise, the original radiant heated floors that were run by a single-zone system were still working throughout the year they lived in the house prior to the renovation. However, since they were more than 60 years old, Jay and Melissa abandoned the old system and installed a new radiant heating system with thermal mass polished concrete floors.
The two wings of the addition are connected by a central “void space.” The glass walls visually draw the garden and greenery into the living space. Both East Coast transplants, the couple wanted to more easily take advantage of favorable gardening conditions in the mild Northern California climate. With this in mind, they used the renovation to bring the outdoors in, as well as encourage easy and direct exterior access for gardening.
“The layout and openings allow ample flow to the exterior, and paths and decks have been developed to ‘flatten’ the sloping site enough to create generous outdoor gathering areas,” Herrin says. “These areas take into account sunlight at different times of day as well as protection from prevailing wind,” he adds. One-by-six-foot ipe planks comprise the decking, and hemlock end grain by the Oregon Lumber Company was installed indoors.
The residence reimagines suburban housing by combining both shared and private programs. The design team found inspiration in the composition of traditional ranch houses and farm towers. The result allows for natural ventilation, solar energy generation, natural lighting, and complete immersion into the site.
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