This house for a young couple and their growing family is located on a 1.5-acre site in a residential neighborhood nestled in a bend along the American River, just east of downtown Sacramento. Established as a ranching outpost in the early 1900s, the neighborhood is now characterized by tree-lined lanes winding through a collection of ranches, bungalows, and gated mansions.
The main house is comprised of a low one-story living pavilion fronting the property and a two-story bedroom and entertaining wing extending along the south side of the site. A pool house stretches along the northern edge of the property, forming an inwardly focused three-sided court. This private outdoor area includes a pool, patio spaces, and a lawn rolling down to a seasonal creek that defines the east boundary of the property.
A gestural ‘spine’ wall runs through the house, separating the transparent internal living zones that line the court from the service program elements facing the street in an elegantly detailed cedar box. Full-height windows and trellises in the living areas allow a gentle natural light deep into the home’s interiors, creating a rich interplay among the internal spaces, exterior courtyard, and native verdant landscape of oaks, cedars, and bays.
A second elongated ‘spine’ wall runs along the northern edge of the property, adjacent to a large patio and separate guest accommodations. The spaces flow into the site through covered terraces, trellised patios, open decks, courtyards, and lawns, allowing the client to take advantage of the benign climate of California’s warm Central Valley.