The perfect balance

Thursday 05 Jan 2012

Modern villa combines dramatic views with comfort and privacy

This sloping urban site presented a unique design challenge. The spaces required by the client brief were broken into a series of structures that cascade down the hillside. Linked architecturally with consistent details and materials, each building is unique in how the views are captured while maintaining privacy. Viewed together the combined structures represent a unified modern estate. Dramatic city views are framed and accentuated by wide expanses of glass. Stone walls that begin outside and run through the house anchor the structure, providing the comfortable, grounded feeling that the client requested.

The estate is approached by a long driveway, past a glass-podium guardhouse and stone tower, and under a second-story bridge that creates a porte-cochere to the main car court. This court is framed by the main entry, and the stucco and stone elements of three accessory buildings. The stone of the main tower continues through the Entry to emphasise the transparency offered by the two-story glass wall.

The exterior includes large stucco solids that yield to dramatic framed openings. Vertical elements are clad in chiseled sandstone and capped with metal eaves. These solids are punctured by large glass walls that create a transparency from the outside to the inside, flooding the house with light. The juxtaposition of solid and void create a playful, elegant rhythm.

The drama of the exterior is echoed inside-the helical stairway with floating stone treads represents a sculptural element that is seen on all floors.  Warm wood veneers and exotic stone accents are highlighted against the simple soft limestone floor and white plaster interior. This combination creates a warm and comfortable feeling in the crisp, modern spaces.

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United States

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