Terrace House, San Mateo CA

Currently under construction, the terrace house began as a simple remodel/addition to an existing hillside home but soon expanded to a completely new residence spanning two combined parcels. The design for the home is iconic, seeking to integrate the building into the existing topography and natural environment such that the house seems to grow organically out of the terrain and be an integral part of the hillside. The top floor of the structure is slightly below street level, and most of the upper level spaces are covered with a living green roof. When viewed from the street, the house seems to disappear into the natural terrain. On the downhill side of the home, exterior terraces arc with the natural contours of the slope to provide outside living spaces for the seemingly submerged rooms within the house. The aesthetic of the home can loosely be described as 'natural contemporary.' Materials consist of clear-finished cedar siding, integral color cement plaster, and board formed concrete. Arranged in three horizontal layers, these materials are a metaphor of the nature of the hillside: the concrete base represents the Franciscan chert bedrock, the cement plaster references the golden color of a California hillside in the summer, and the cedar siding is a nod to the sylvan setting that surrounds the site. Estimated completion: Fall 2016

architecture and design