The project is an extensive renovation of an existing 3,800 square foot space in Mill Valley into a showroom for the Henrybuilt, a high-end Seattle-based system kitchen, cabinetry, and furniture company.
The former autobody shop’s original concrete masonry unit structure remains, while the interior walls, fixtures, lighting, mechanical systems, doors, windows, and finishes were completely updated and renovated. Henrybuilt designed and provided all cabinetry, casework, and furniture.
Emphasis on the versatility of Henrybuilt products is key to the showroom’s design. The space is organized around three new interior dividing walls that create a series of “rooms” to optimize the products’ visibility and location. In contrast to Henrybuilt’s other showroom in Manhattan, which has a highly refined and finished interior, the Mill Valley location allows products to be exhibited in more raw and unadorned spaces.
In order to reveal and enhance the found quality of the existing structure and its surfaces, the design interventions are subtle. Conduit and piping were meticulously re-routed but left visible, and the existing two toned walls were kept, with the colors changing from body-shop blue to white and grey. New construction is placed directly against the shell of the original structure, drawing attention to the juxtaposition of the new and the old.
2018 Nairobi, Kenya
Siprosa School Nairobi provides global progressive education in spaces that negotiate between classrooms, flexible spaces, and outdoor learning environments. These spaces are distributed through a collection of stacked and shifted voids that are wrapped by a terra cotta screen that connects diverse spaces, buffers the school from the city, and responds to environmental needs.
San Francisco 2017
The renovation of an apartment in a banal San Francisco building plays a set of distinct volumetric insertions against the dominant flat planes of the 8’-0” high floor slabs. One volume controls vertical movement through the space, while a second defines the main living space and breaks through the ceiling to create a large interior room on the roof. The reading of the two volumes registers as a material difference between the insertions and the surrounding perimeter. A deep built-in bookcase on one edge and a solid wood island on the other edge emphasizes the volumes’ three figural, rather than planar, quality. A direct visual relationship with the city is embraced in the project by orienting the volumes parallel to San Francisco’s skyline, modifying the building facade to remove a faux mansard, and increasing
Located on a steep site in the San Mateo hills, this remodel reinvents a 1950’s tract house into a light field family home. By stepping up a steep slope and weaving together interior and exterior spaces, this project uses its relationship to the landscape to produce spacious and interconnected rooms that are simultaneously spatially distinct. To keep the remodel within budget, the design reconfigures the existing home as simple bedroom spaces. The more important public spaces - dining, kitchen, and living room - are placed in the new volumes. These tall volumes use clerestory window to bring light and views into the lower portions of the house. At the top of the hill, the house culminates with a pool, whose reflective blue surface echoes the views of the blue sky offered by the clerestory windows of the lower volumes.
With a view of the Marin Headlands and San Francisco Bay, this steep site captivates with its panoramic views. Rather than simply succumb to the sublime views, the architecture of this new house emerges through a critical understanding of the site as distant views, sheltering moments, and, ultimately, the vessel for the mundane experiences of daily life. With a circulation sequence that begins at the street edge, the architecture focuses residents and visitors on a series of experientially distinct moments that are paired with unique views and spatial proportions. On the upper level, the larger more public spaces follow the bend in the mass of the house in order to alternately direct views to the panoramic, distant west or to the shielded and forested north. Extensions into the landscape allow these spaces to incorporate outdoor living. On the lower level, private spaces - bedrooms and a small library - “quiet” the view with smaller windows. Formally, the house steps up the slope of the hill, responding to the physicality of the site while nestling into the surrounding hills.
Jenner, California 2018
Situated on a densely wooded site one and a half miles east of the Sonoma coastline, Timber Cove’s environment epitomizes Northern California’s coastal redwood forests. Downslope on the western border of the 4.5 acre site, a creek flows down to the Pacific Ocean. The client is a San Francisco couple who wanted a one bedroom cabin that would serve as a weekend retreat home.
Timber Cove’s design attempts to break from the typical prefabricated cedar homes that are found throughout the region. Remaining pragmatic with regards to cost and zoning constraints, the house creates relationships with the specifics of the site: towering redwoods, sloped, wet earth, and the views of the sky framed by the trees. The plan layout is determined by the site context. A platform that keeps the home floating slightly above the damp terrain is positioned on the flattest part of the site and rotated to sit between two large clusters of redwoods. The volume of the house is intersected by three smaller volumes that carve away to create entrances, decks, and bring light and outdoor space within the interior.
Mirum est notare quam littera gothica, quam nunc putamus parum claram, anteposuerit litterarum formas humanitatis per seacula quarta decima et quinta decima. Eodem modo typi, qui nunc nobis videntur parum clari, fiant sollemnes in futurum.
Piedmont, California 2017
This remodel negotiates the owner’s desire for a modern home with the municipality’s desire to maintain the home’s ‘historic’ character. To satisfy these potentially conflicting interests, Sidell Pakravan’s strategy restores the house’s shell while completely gutting the interior to achieve greater connections to the landscape beyond and between previously disconnected levels on the interior. At the exterior, new doors and windows with black frames hint at the elegant and restrained aesthetic that guides the design throughout. Similarly, a new cantilevered deck at the rear and new French doors at the front create connections to outside that echo the new spatial openness of the reorganized interior. The original home, although two stories, functioned like a single story home. To remedy this, the primary formal move was to remove the center of the home and insert a new, open stair that visually and physically connects the two levels. To take advantage of this, the lower level was enlarged and completely refinished to provide two new bedrooms, a music room, a playroom, and a bathroom. Similarly, the upper level was completed updated with a new master suite, an updated bathroom, new finishes in the main living spaces, and a new Henrybuilt Kitchen.
The project is an accessory dwelling cottage on the site of the existing residence of a retiring activist, artist and knitter. Focusing on maximizing storage and a variety of spaces for this client, the project emphasizes a series of thickened walls that become bedroom, kitchen, living, and storage spaces. The oblique axis that underlies the plan comes from an interest in the knitting pattern called “counting your rows” which emphasizes blocks of colors, solids, and voids.
Buena Vista Garden
The garden transforms a a leftover space between a tall house and steep slope on Buena Vista Hill into a landscaped plant-lined gathering space with seating and a small fountain.
The existing space consisted of a small patio and series of poorly places retaining walls. Two curved walls are preserved and reconfigured into a wide amphitheater-like seating area. A set of horizontal steel planters conform to the curve of the long existing wall, drawing the eye across the garden. The matte steel finish provides a muted reflection of greens that is constantly changing the position of the sun. (say something about its fabrication? Custom fabrication?)
Plants were chosen for their drought tolerant qualities and variety of colors and shades.