Barron Park Addition

Our modern-enthusiast-clients purchased a single story home in Palo Alto with the intent to alter it to meet their functional needs and aesthetic tastes.  Initial project goals included the design of a small single story addition to the back of the house for a guest bedroom/bathroom, and a kitchen remodel.  As the design process unfolded, our client’s desire to preserve a backyard-facing corner, affectionately known as the PBWC (precious bird watching corner), was strongly expressed and the program for the addition evolved from a guest bedroom, to a family room and later to a creative lab before settling into a final combination of all three.

The existing 2,060 SF house was a long, linear, single story structure with an uninterrupted gabled roof and vaulted ceilings.  In spite of the open floor plan, the kitchen’s pre-existing location interfered with the flow from living and dining spaces out to the back yard.  This blockage was particularly problematic as the owners enjoyed outdoor dining and entertaining under the canopy of the large mulberry tree just outside the kitchen that had become a feature of the property

As we worked with the plan and form, it became clear that the kitchen should be relocated into the addition in order to maximize bird watching and enable access to the yard from the family room, dining room, and kitchen.  In combination with the relocation of these rooms, large glass sliding doors were used to facilitate an indoor-to-outdoor connection that was lacking in the original house.

The 714 SF addition became an exercise in resolving the juxtaposition of placing a two story addition next to the low linear form of the gabled one story roof. The modern cube delineates new from old without repeating or competing with the existing form and at the same time adds excitement and depth to the house.  On the interior a modern, modest palette was used with a minimum of materials. Walnut and marble accents elevate more cost effective materials to create a workable low maintenance kitchen.