Karin Payson architecture + design | Garden House + Music

Garden House + Music

The contractor was already on site digging a basement when we were called in to overhaul the design of this expansive residence in Atherton. The challenge was to reconcile two quite different visions of home life into a coherent family dwelling. One of the owners was an avid enthusiast of modern architecture who would have been happy living in Phillip Johnson’s Glass House. The other had more traditional taste. Working within the existing footprint, we developed an architectural vocabulary that merged a conventional program with more contemporary detailing. Bringing a shallower angle to the roofline and extending the eaves to frame the sky above oversized windows, we succeeded in making the house’s profile more discreet without sacrificing the soaring spatial volumes inside. The result is a substantial home full of deep hardwoods and sunlight that engages the surrounding landscape without dominating it, like a modern reincarnation of Maybeck.

Photos by Matthew Millman