Residential in California : Rau Haus by Feldman Architecture

 Portola Valley, CA

Architect : Feldman Architecture
Architecture team : Steven Stept, Anjali Iyer, Leila Bijan Kuehr, Humbeen Geo
Interior Designer : FQ Designs Group
Landscape design : Thuilot Associates
 Photos  ©  Adam Rouse

Feldman Architecture :

A couple with a young daughter looking to leave the city in search of more space contacted Feldman Architecture to design a new home – a modern, secluded residence with a dedicated zone for hosting family and friends. With a site selected with sweeping views over Coal Creek Open Space Preserve, the team’s vision centered around completely immersing visitors in rolling green hills while offering a rare, distant glimpse of the San Francisco Bay to the north.

Steven Stept, AIA, Project Principal :

"This project allowed us to craft a space of serenity, well-balanced with a design that creates horizontal and vertical connections within and towards the landscape. It was expertly executed by the builder who crafted details and material connections with wonderful care and precision" 

Anjali Iyer, LEED AP, Project Architect :

“Beneath the quiet design sensibility is a rigorous articulation of forms and spaces that are precisely detailed within a tightly curated material palette. The house embraces the spirit of the site and sets the stage for daily life to unfold”

The design centers around thoughtfully orienting public and private living spaces towards views while creating a sense of privacy from the neighboring lots above. The 3,433 square foot L-shaped building footprint is gently tucked into the eastern hillside, creating an enclosure for outdoor moments, and framing a wide array of views from indoor living spaces.

The volumes are carefully articulated to minimize disruption of views from the surrounding properties. The primary wing runs north to south, expanding vertically at a double-height kitchen and dining space while visually connecting the main level to a study loft and bedrooms upstairs. Light wells and clerestory windows on the eastern façade welcome morning light and offer peeks of greenery without compromising privacy. A single-story form topped by a green roof stretches perpendicularly – blending into the surrounding landscape and creating a multipurpose space at pool level for playing, exercising, and entertaining. The infinity pool acts as a threshold where the manicured landscape merges into the native meadow-scape.

Bay views to the north are captured from the primary suite, and publicly from a view deck. It was important for the clients that this roof deck was publicly accessible without compromising the privacy of their bedroom. Low-maintenance, durable materials define the material palette: exterior cement clads the second story, and Monterey Cypress siding, intended to weather over time, elegantly connects the main level. The cement plaster and Cypress bars stack geometrically, blending into the interior - understated, modern, and clean materiality sets the tone for the interior and landscape moments.

     Area : 3433 ft²

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