Lutsko Associates：The project is located in the suburb of San Francisco bay area and is an area outside the small-scale equestrian community ” wood side” located in the east of the coastal mountains.
The owner is a family with five children ( three of whom are young children ) and has been living nearby since the child was born. Now that the child has grown up, the original three bedrooms can no longer meet the demand for use. therefore, the owner hopes to have a long-term residence near the original residence. They originally planned to purchase new houses, but later decided to carry out a major renovation of the project area. The most recent development of the 3 – acre land was in the 1950s. there were only two dilapidated houses and an unmanaged common landscape in the area, with no special features. Its development potential lies in the surrounding scenery. The area is surrounded by coastal oak trees, with open historical pastures and long coastal mountains far away. The owner hopes to turn the area into a pleasant residence that is in harmony with the surrounding environment.
The owner knew that serious planning was necessary to achieve this goal. therefore, the owner’s family hired landscape designers and architects to establish a long-term cooperative relationship. The design team completed the design blueprint with the owner, including the residence, warehouse / studio, office, swimming pool and pool cottage. They decided to build a relatively small volume and use these building volumes to shape the outer space as an extension of the inner space. The owner hopes to have a large leisure lawn, garden and open gathering place. therefore, the primary goal of the design is to integrate the landscape in the project area with the surrounding natural scenery. Architecture will be a modern interpretation of traditional rural residences in California’s native landscape.
Historically, the west of wood side has been a whole piece of coastal oak forest land and grassland on the shallow soil of dry land. Although the area has a history of more than 100 years of development, large pastures and broad land provide a large amount of space, allowing the towering trees on the original forest floor to continue to flourish. Although there are no oak trees in the project area, the ancient oak trees scattered in the neighboring areas left over from the historical forest can be seen from the densely vegetated hillside to the west.
Landscape designers base their landscape design on oak forest and native grassland. The irregular oak belt covers the project area and forms the framework of the landscape design of the area together with the surrounding woodlands. The primary grassland in the glade surrounds the building and its surrounding space, and has established visual contact with the open lawn on the west. Annual grasses grow on lawns, while native pastures are planted with perennial native plants, bringing the historical natural landscape into the region and showing a more natural wild state. The transformation of the sense of openness from woodland to open space has become the guiding concept of the building and landscape design.
The oak grove and the undergrowth plants near the residence constitute the screen of the project area. Visitors pass through the oak tree group and arrive at a small courtyard surrounded by one warehouse / workshop and three low stone walls. they continue to pass through the warehouse / workshop and arrive at the central courtyard surrounded by warehouses, living spaces and small offices. Although some lawns and pastures can be seen through the residential area, the scope of coverage is very limited. only entering the interior can one see the panorama of lawns and pastures and trees in the distance. The swimming pool at the back of the house and the cottage beside the pool were covered with large lawns.
The team of landscape designers and architectural designers has blurred the boundary between architecture and landscape. The building has only one room deep, with access or translucent glass screen, which outlines the external space around the building. The low stone wall built of stone building facade and foundation wall defines the outer space of the building body and extends all the way to the surrounding grassland.
The central courtyard is an interpretation of California’s traditional courtyard style. The designer presented the main element of the California countryside – water in a simple and modern form, and planted the California buttonwood and riverside trees with perfect sculpture and remarkable white bark beside them to better highlight the water element. Clear lines and simple combinations of trees, gravel, water and stones create a thoughtful introverted space, and the large statue elements reinforce this space feature. Inspired by local history, local characteristics and beautiful local landscape, the project combines architectural landscape with the surrounding environment by modern design methods, truly embodying the rural life of California.