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Skyline HouseOakland Hills, CA

This is a home in the Oakland Hills on a site with spectacular views of the entire Bay Area and the Golden Gate.  The building is about light and views, yet the shape and configuration was derived by excavating the steep site into three terraces and then stepping up the volumes of the house into a three level building. Conceptually, it’s like a pair of sunglasses placed on a hill and aimed towards the view.

The lower level is for cars and entering the building.  The second level, which is the main level, is for casual everyday living.  This level is essentially the ‘pavilion’ amongst the parts – where there are views to the west and a courtyard to the east.  This courtyard with a lap pool is a very introverted and protected area in relation to the view side, which is dramatic and extroverted.  On the view side, the deep deck creates a wrap-around exterior living space that’s also sheltered from sun and rain.  The upper level contains bedrooms and a design studio – both of which have views by looking over the main level below.

The structure is concrete, steel, and wood – resulting in vertical and horizontal planes that are directly related to their function.  The material palette is intentionally minimalistic and monochromatic so that the building is more about its basic volumes and transparency than any particular style.