Palo Alto House with Secondary Unit



We had a very small and narrow substandard lot on which only a single story was allowed. That led to the idea of a large roof terrace for entertaining and extra storage-mechanical for the house.

We added a walkable glass insert flush with the terrace deck, which brings natural light into the house while providing a fun, luminous accent at night with LED lights for the people enjoying the terrace.

We chose to have tall ceilings with upper clerestory windows to give a sense of a larger, luminous space to the open living room-kitchen-dining area.

Because of these high windows, remote-operable, we obtained broad daylight throughout the main areas of the house as well as ventilation, thus mitigating the need of A/C.

Xeric landscape minimizes the need for water.

A metal standing roofing, synthetic wood terrace-stair decking, precast coping, a concrete kitchen countertop reduced the impact on natural resources while providing minimal need for maintenance.

By using the same dark hardwood for the ceiling as well as the roof eaves, we established a warm touch to areas often neglected and established a connection between the interior and exterior.

A glassy canopy at the entrance completes this modern, "ship-like" small but very efficient residence.