Palo Alto

Landscape Architect: Arterra
Photography: Sharon Risedorph

Home Builder Digest 2019:
15 Best Residential Architects in Palo Alto

Eco-conversion of a 1961 ranch.

Our clients had outgrown their existing ranch-style home on the Stanford Campus. Though the home was technically large enough for this family of four, it had a compartmentalized floor plan, 8-foot ceilings, tiny kitchen, one bathroom for three bedrooms, was inaccessible for the grandparents due to the steep driveway, and was an energy hog.

In order to lower the clients’ carbon footprint, we right-sized the house, folding in sustainable techniques. We cleverly excavated the garage into the hillside, making it flush with the street, and converted the existing garage into living space. Using passive technologies, such as a living roof over the master suite, and thermal convection through a unique clerestory system, the home is naturally cooled while being flooded with daylight. Other green features include: an outdoor shower, standing seam metal roofs for rainwater collection, and low-maintenance, durable materials, such as steel troweled stucco, Corten, board-formed concrete, and cedar. This once dark and disconnected residence, now blurs the line between indoors and out, doubling the livability of this fairly modest renovation.