Diablo Magazine February 2014 : Page 84

diablo properties special advertising sec tion The overarching goal was to create an indoor/outdoor house that was modern but sought also to be a good neighbor. “ ” stone’s throw from the garage birthplace of Silicon Valley, this 5,500-square-foot, three-level house pays tribute to the area’s pioneering spirit in bringing together environmental innova-tion and a sense of fun, with a modern twist on the historic fabric. The owners proposed ambitious, near net-zero goals, embracing the contractor’s principle of achieving these within 10 percent of the construction costs. Designed by Cathy Schwabe Architecture with a three-part focus on private, public, and family, the house more than doubled the Build It Green’s baseline point requirements and exceeded Title 24 by 43 percent. Cathy Schwabe, AIA, recalls, “The owners found me after visiting a house I had designed in 1999 while still at EHDD, seriously considered buying, but did not because they felt they needed more space for their frequent guests. They spoke about being drawn to both the architectural char-acter of that house as well as to the owner’s ambitious environmental goals, which they hoped to incorporate in their house as well. We talked about the collaborative design process and how important it was to build a team early on that could work in an integrated manner. They were excited about this idea and agreed that when the time was right, we would bring a landscape architect, interior designer, and other team members on board. One could not ask for a better way to begin a project, and since then, it has served as a wonderful example about the clear benefits of this design approach.” Set behind a screen of existing trees, the house presents as two wood-sided wings, each capped with a broad hip roof, flanking a central glazed entry/stair ele-ment. The L-shaped building frames an open rear garden with a dedicated A 84 February 2014

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