Inspired by the Owner’s desire for a modern farmhouse with a whimsical twist, traditional forms were employed to create a feeling of familiarity within this innovative and energy efficient home. The design was further conceived as a series of interconnected volumes skirting the site, creating a rear courtyard environment with a sense of privacy while at the same time taking advantage of the large yard area. The simple orthogonal forms of the house are radially connected by a sweeping, curvilinear form based on the Fibonacci sequence which translates into a spiral. This soft, organic, vertically transparent form also serves as a transitional element connecting the home to the exterior environment. The home opens to the landscaped rear yard beyond, continuing the spiral form, embracing the site and tying it to its natural setting. Views have been strategically framed to afford both privacy and openness, balancing the necessity of naturally well-lit spaces with the comforts of an intimate suburban garden setting.
SF Bay Area, CA
Building off this concept of harmony, the house has been designed according to the principles of Passiv Haus, an energy-efficient building system originating in Central Europe that synergizes exceptional comfort with near-zero energy consumption. The house achieves this through high performance insulation, minimizing air leakage (the blower door target is 0.6 ACH50), and by using an energy recovery ventilator to warm the incoming fresh air with the heat of the exhaust air stream. The heating and cooling system is further bolstered by a geo-coupled heat exchange system combined with hydronic floor coils. The geo-coupled system uses pipes bored 300 feet deep in the ground to extract warmth and cooling from the near infinite reservoir of the Earth.
When square three’s clients bought the property, there was a large Ponderosa Pine tree the original Owners planted when their child was born. However, the tree was in the middle of the building pad area and needed to be removed. square three came up with the idea of preserving the tree by having it removed in sections, milled into slabs and then created a sculpture that is located in roughly the same place where it grew on the property. The sculpture is recessed it into the wall and back lit so it appears to be floating.
- General ContractorPete Moffat Construction