OZ House: a reduced expression of sheer material and absolute form

The site of this residence by Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects is a hilltop in Atherton, CA, USA accessed via the winding Ridgeview Drive, ending in a circular cul de sac. The entry gate is framed by a concrete wall from which the house number, 96, is incised. Once inside, views in other directions unfold, and in the distance, the skyline of San Francisco framed by the entry canopy. Two L shapes bars balance on top of each other creating courts and overhangs, decking indoor and outdoor spaces with bridges and cantilevers. Services are solid elements which comb the space with walls of mechanism and storage floating within the open lines of the bars.

The basement is for family play and casual entertaining, opening to a large grassed area below. A light court carved into the ground illuminates the other side of the L. Above is the main level for formal entertaining which cantilevers over the basement and looks to the city view. Dining, kitchen and family areas are in the other leg of the L, where stairs go up to the bedroom L, inverted and floating above. The leg facing the city view is the master, cantilevered over the wing below creating an outdoor room, the other leg are four children’s suites, connected by an office, sitting area and laundry, and bridging a void below which connects to the garages.

The house is a reduced expression of sheer material and absolute form where connections and inter- sections are minimized to non-existence, cast almost of a single piece, like an iPhone. The building threads and weaves, making holes in things, or making things that make holes in things that are not. The bars twist and fold, cross and loop, bridge and divide. At the intersections are vertical connections. These abstract geologies do not impose, but expose, expanding the realm of space and diminishing the role of form. The interest is in transparency and lightness contrasted with solidity and mass, folded on themselves, slipping and sliding through space as they frame and connect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Design and info © Stanley Saitowitz | Natoma Architects

Images © Bruce Damonte

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