440 House

Palo Alto
Photo © Tim Street Porter
Photo © Richard Barnes
Architects
Fougeron Architecture
Location
Palo Alto
Year
2000

Located in downtown Palo Alto, California. This new two-story 5,000 sq. ft. house with a complex program includes two studies, one exercise room, two bedrooms, a living room, family room, dining room, kitchen and wine cellar for a professional couple.


This residence represents a clear example of our modernist aesthetic. The glassy, open-plan house incorporates the latest in building technologies, such as new glass products from England and avant-garde structural systems. The exposed structural steel moment frame in the circulation spine and the thin columns and beams express the construction system for the house and its presence in an earthquake zone. Natural light from various sources - floors, ceilings, and walls - combine with translucent, transparent, and reflective materials to create visually dynamic spaces.



The house is organized around the central living room volume, which is flanked by a glazed circulation spine and a solid storage mass. It was conceived as a transparent link between the gardens at the front and back of the house. This transparency is augmented through the use of tapered steel plate columns and beams that carry the eye past the steel framed glazing system to the outdoors. The circulation spine, with its two-story glass channel walls and sandblasted glass floor, pierces the building at both ends, reinforcing the transparency of the living room by reconnecting the viewer with the garden spaces. The storage mass acts as a solid separating private spaces from the public domain. A bridge suspended through the living room connects the circulation spine with rooms on the opposite side of the mass.



Throughout the house, a complex array of materials for floors, walls, ceilings, and cabinetry has been carefully orchestrated to create an environment that, while simple, is full of visual surprise and tactile delights.

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