Saratoga House and Pool

A joint venture with Burks-Toma Architects.

Houses must often strive to reconcile seemingly contradictory desires and circumstances, yet the best homes do not hide their inherent contradictions - they in fact thrive with the tension created between opposite poles. This house for a young family is no exception. There was the desire to experience an exceptional view, but not to be overwhelmed by it; a need for handicap accessibility, but a desire not to be controlled by it; a desire to feel the site's dramatic topography, but without level changes; and a predilection for simple modern forms, but a firm belief in site-specific place making.

To complete the north end of the ridge-top property we designed a vanishing-edge pool that dramatizes the plinth-like ridge with a gesture to the San Francisco Bay to the north. Subtle topographic manipulation and leveling afforded by the spoils from pool excavation help mitigate the inaccessible nature of the site while still offering the inhabitants a direct experience of the drama of the site. In keeping with the dictates of the house, we incorporated the required features of wheelchair-accessibility without allowing these to be seen as compromises.




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“Pool” — Wendy Chan
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“hardscape, design of pool, covered area” — bundy7
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“Fruit bowl and chairs” — summerdavinci
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“saratoga house” — leehecklinger
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“Simple beauty” — jnkarts
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Cesar Rubio
“Corner vidriera” — colombia27
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