Waverley Palo Alto House, New California Home, Property Photos

Waverley Palo Alto Home

New San Francisco Area Residence, California, USA – design by Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney

Aug 25, 2018

Waverley Palo Alto House

Design: Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects

Location: Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, California, USA

Waverley Palo Alto Home, CA

Designed for a young couple, this 5,000 sf home and 1,700 sf back house sits on a flat 21,000 sf lot in a 1920’s Palo Alto neighborhood. The architecture is a study in strong simple composition and highly refined materiality with an emphasis on craft. The massing defines solid and void, captures natural light, and connects the indoors with the landscape, allowing the homeowner’s to ‘experience the outdoors from within.’

Waverley Palo Alto Home, California

The ground floor volumes are wrapped in an elongated hand-fired brick, emphasizing the horizontality of the architecture that lays solidly on the land. Bronze-trimmed ceiling planes slide between the brick masses, and floor-to-ceiling glazed openings are captured by thin-profiled bronze frames.

In contrast to the grounded brick volumes, the second floor is clad in stainless steel panels and oversized aluminum-framed windows. The lightness and openness of the second floor is nestled among the oak-tree canopies of the site.

Waverley Palo Alto house, California

At the basement level, a wine cellar and tasting room open to a sunken landscaped courtyard.

A 30ft by 10ft continuous pane of glass runs alongside the grand stairwell of floating stone steps, connecting the three levels of the house. Due to the unprecedented size of this glass in residential design, it was custom manufactured in Germany and shipped to California. This dramatic moment in the sequence of progressing through the house allows visitors feel a direct connection to the lush landscape outside.

Inside the house, materials such as a custom leather door and bronze anodized details were selected for their unique craftsman-style quality. Another custom-designed element is the steel mesh screen that wraps around to enclose the kitchen for privacy, separating this from the more public “guest hosting” areas adjacent. The steel screen slides along a track embedded into the teak slatted ceiling and disappears into a pantry when retracted.

Palo Alto house

A freestanding structure set deep back into the site is a zen-like fitness/yoga studio as well as a guesthouse with a kitchenette. This dramatic stone mass opens completely in the center to give the impression of exercising outdoors. The landscape integrates California native plant species, grasses and trees to compliment the materiality of the architecture.

Literally from start to finish, this project implemented sustainable strategies, beginning with the recycling and donation of all material from the demolished home that was existing on site when the clients purchased the land. Throughout construction the team carefully selected building materials such as FSC certified lumber framing and BIBS wool insulation, and designed efficient systems with minimal water usage.

Palo Alto residence

Thoughtfully designed planting with predominantly low water use plant selection as well as a high efficiency drip-irrigation system resulted in water use equaling only half of the allowable amount per code. The site features extensive planting and softscape, and the minimal areas of paving are all permeable.

To accommodate the clients’ lifestyle, infrastructure for charging of two (2) electrical vehicles was installed as well as smart technology and zoned climate control to locally address climate needs in rare times that HVAC was needed. This included variable speed inverter-driven compressors use energy only when in use. Radiant floor heating efficiently heats the space, and solar photovoltaics on the fitness studio/guesthouse roof generate electricity.

Throughout the residence natural ventilation was made possible by purposefully placed operable windows and fans to help circulate the air. Ample natural light through Low-E windows and skylights were installed throughout, as well as LED lighting, while overhangs at East, South and West glazing help shade the rooms.

contemporary Palo Alto property

Palo Alto Residence – Building Information

Architects: Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney
Client: Withheld
General Contractor: Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders

Palo Alto house images / information from the Chicago Athenaeum

Location: Palo Alto, Santa Clara County, California, USA

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Comments / photos for the Waverley Palo Alto Home Architecture page welcome

Website: Palo Alto