When Mark and Tamara Murray procured a property for their loved ones in Atherton, California, south of San Francisco, they were geared up to take on a venture. “We bought the house recognizing we desired to renovate it,” remembers Tamara. The 1948 home represented a hodgepodge of architectural influences, with a combination of Tudor and Mediterranean features, and a ranch-fashion floor approach which wrapped about a central courtyard.
When the time arrived to renovate, the few didn’t hesitate to switch to Dan Spiegel and Meg Aihara of San Francisco-centered architecture organization Observed to reimagine the dwelling. Longtime good friends, Tamara and Spiegel have been school classmates, and had even collaborated on a prior undertaking. The uncommon problem of the Atherton renovation was that there was currently enough space—it was just improperly used. The home appeared to be swallowed underneath a large roof—all inaccessible attic space—making the construction sense major-hefty. “This produced the ceiling heights very low and a ton of the areas dim,” remembers Spiegel. “We seemed for alternatives to slice away at the unused space—adding lightwells and skylights, stitching between rooms to build continuity, and growing home windows to integrate the landscape.”
Reorganizing the home’s geometry proved to be a sophisticated undertaking—one that necessary cautious study from working day a single. “The consumers permitted us to do some exploratory demolition right before the structure do the job even commenced, stripping the dwelling to the studs and allowing us to reply to the uncommon geometric circumstances from the start off,” shares Spiegel. This investigation prompted the Observed staff to introduce diagonal lines and voids as a counterpoint to the inherently orthogonal starting geometry of the house, creating a new feeling of relationship, peak, and volume, even though funneling light-weight into the deepest spaces of the household.
“Subtracting” room through the angular voids allowed the interior components—nearly unchanged from a programmatic perspective—to grow to be not only far more visually dynamic, but also far more open and unified. Materiality proved to be a vital piece of the puzzle, with the Noticed workforce turning to Madera for a total-answer wooden design package deal utilizing European oak that would spotlight the daring architectural tactic. Warm and textural wooden tones would attract the eye to the soaring ceiling heights and geometric voids, accentuating the newly unlocked quantity of the inside. “We wanted to use the identical end in a number of diverse ways,” states Spiegel. “It was necessary to have all of these things lower from the identical inventory and completed in the same way.”
The openness and link in the course of the property, when a central problem, is now a favored aspect for the clients. A generously-proportioned hallway opens visual and useful traces on the most important residing amount, flanked by expanded windows and sliding doorways.
Though the wood tones on both of those ground and ceiling soften the space, the content is strong sufficient to assist the family’s active lifestyle—proving that elegance and operate can go hand in hand. “The normal gentle is mirrored off the warm wood on the ground and the ceiling,” states Tamara. “It certainly is gorgeous–even when our youngsters use it as a race observe.”
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