After living in their original old bungalow for several years, the third generation Owners of this Palo Alto property realized that the home would not meet the future needs of their growing family. Building a new home was the solution, but that presented its own challenges, as the property was a small, very constrained corner lot with an extremely small buildable envelope.
Palo Alto, CA
Due to the small lot size and city required building setbacks, the buildable footprint was small at approximately 2,000 sf. To gain extra floor area that would not count toward the city’s maximum allowable floor area for the property, a full basement was designed. The basement is open to the two stories above through an open floating large stair, located on an exterior wall, providing a source of natural light to flood the inner core of the house.
This redefined single-family residential basement is fully finished with an abundance of natural light, high ceilings and an exterior stair connecting it to the yard. While providing much-needed extra space, the basement also serves to minimize the overall perceived scale of the home and its impact on the neighborhood.