This biophilic residence in Portola Valley responds to the views and topography of its bucolic surroundings on the eastern Santa Cruz Mountains, in a corner of Silicon Valley that prizes its enduring rural feel.
Designed to frame the landscape, the single-floor structure becomes the horizon, a floating plane from which to observe 180 degree views of Portola Valley’s rolling hills, grassy meadows, and sprawling vineyards. The house spreads out on its ample site and bends to take advantage of different microclimates.
Through the main entrance, the home’s central living area and majestic valley at its rear fill the field of vision, with generous floor-to-ceiling glass windows lining the back and roughly half of the opposing entrance-side wall. The few non-glass sides are encased in warm wood siding.
A flat roof with steel plate fascia spans the structure. From this floating horizon line, spaces cascade down the hillside to varying degrees and depths—including courtyard steps planted with emado grasses that open-up from the great room, and a lower-level media room, office, and wine cellar deeper into the valley.
The primarily single-level home bends along its site, with a second wing of three bedrooms positioned at a roughly 40-degree angle, oriented towards the 3-acre property’s existing specimen trees.
As a transitory zone between the two areas, a semi-open-air connecting bridge with a distinctive trepanned circular opening accentuates an adjacent focal tree and showers direct sunlight.
The material palette is natural and warm, taking its cues from the surrounding landscape. Polished concrete floors are paired with warm wood siding and clean steel plate fascia throughout the home.