One for the Road
The very narrow site slopes up and away from the busy road while the property lines converge toward the back of the site. Noise from the street and poor solar orientation further complicate optimum design conditions. The design responds to these daunting site conditions in such a way they actually become attributes to the function and comfort provided by the structure.
Using the attached garage/ future office as a buffer, a semi-private entry is created for the office and private portions of the house. The foyer is located on the ground level of this front-to-back split-level design. From this foyer access are separate entrances to the ground-floor office/bedroom and separate studio/workshop/garage.
Up one half level from the foyer, the main great room is accessed by a half-flight of stairs. This main level contains a 14 foot tall lofty light-filled living, dining, kitchen combination room, powder room, and large covered rear porch. Up one additional half-flight of switchback stairs access the upper floor with two bedrooms and one full bath.
Careful placement of windows and shading devices eliminate excessive solar gains while optimizing natural daylighting. The main living areas of the house are oriented toward the rear, uphill side of the site, away from the noise of the road. The main part of the house is no more than “one-room-wide” at any point, a strategy employed to easily facilitate cross-ventilation in an area where sea-breezes from the southwest are reliable in saddle seasons.