Modern Hillside Guest House

The original guest house was designed to feel as if it were an older property that had been expanded over time. Anchored by two towers of local stone, the guest house was an amalgam of farmhouse architectural references clad in stone and board-and-batten and a contemporary element, covered in interlocking zinc panels, and topped by a distinctive butterfly roof. A breezeway of glass and European exterior plywood is deftly placed between two existing Blue Oaks. Three bedrooms are set at the North, South and East corners, leaving the center of the structure as shared public space. A “bird-watching” deck cantilevers out over the sloping site, providing views over the treetops.

Materials, indoor/outdoor continuity and precision craftsmanship were the defining features of this house. Earthy, rustic materials, such as Rheinzink zinc panels and corten steel, are designed to age and acquire a patina over time. Differing materials reflect the varying architectural references and are consistent from the exterior to interior spaces. On the interior, precise detailing leaves no room for error. Ceilings of white-washed Alaskan yellow cedar, composed of 1-7/16-inch custom-cut strips with 1/16-inch spacing, were fabricated on-site, and detailed to flow seamlessly from ceiling to upper walls.

Throughout the interior, up to five different materials come together, all in flush conditions: plaster walls were installed flush with the custom wood ceilings, walls stopped 3/16-inch short of the floors with slim reveals in place of baseboards, and carpets were recessed into the polished concrete floors. The overall effect was of rustic simplicity carried out with the utmost precision.