Round House. Los Altos Hills, California

Round house on the slopes of a hill in California

Architects  :  Feldman Architecture
Photos  ©  Adam Rouse

Architectural firm Feldman Architecture has remodeled and refurbished the 1960s 
Round House in Los Altos Hills, on a hillside near Silicon Valley in northern 
California and bordering a nature reserve. The total building area is 
5,103 square feet (474 square meters).

Feldman Architecture :

"Tucked away in the Los Altos hills, the aptly named Round House is a geometrically 
unique structure; one of a few similarly shaped homes built in California in the 60s. The 
clients fell in love with this quirky circular house and initially had the desire to remodel. 
Soon after moving in, the pair recognized the inefficiencies of their new home. The low
 window eaves curiously obstructed the otherwise spectacular views, spurring their
 desire to revamp and modernize the property. Owner and architect saw the 
opportunity to further its true design potential and the original remodel
 evolved into a beautiful enhancement of its sui generis form.

Perched atop a precipitous site, the building has 180 degree views with a deck that runs
 around its perimeter. The original central courtyard, once open-to-sky, becomes the 
kitchen – an appropriate gesture for an aspiring baker and a family that sees the
 kitchen as the heart of the house. A large circular skylight streams daylight
 into the kitchen with its custom curved casework.

From the main entrance, visitors can effortlessly progress through the living room,
 kitchen, and spacious deck, before circumnavigating the house via wrap-around walkway.
 A concentric hallway drapes around the kitchen leading to discrete pie-shaped rooms –
 carefully arranged; demarcating the private from the public. A cuneate outdoor deck is 
strategically carved out at the intersection of the Great Room and kitchen – framing
 unparalleled views of the Bay. Tall pocket doors from both spaces vanish into the
 walls, asserting a strong indoor-outdoor connection. The more modest perimeter
 deck allows outdoor access from all the bedrooms, while curved landscape
 walls radiate outward merging into softscape.

A Japanese style of charred wood siding, called Shou Sugi Ban, and seamless
 concrete floors in combination with hardwood floors add warmth and richness to
 an otherwise minimalist interior. Due to the challenges of its circular form, the project 
team had to look for creative solutions in each aspect of the venture. Most conventional
 solutions favor straight geometry, which made for a refreshing intervention that
 is an honest response to the constraints of this unique project".

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