This project for a new build house is located in a secluded location in Atherton, California. The project is a large house located in a woodland setting, with a stream and significant changes in level but with limited outdoor space.

The brief

The client wanted to maximise the use of the site by creating a substantial new house and create a greater visual impact as the existing house is largely concealed from view when approached. The house needed to incorporate 6 bedrooms, formal living and dining spaces, family kitchen, family living and dining spaces as well as a basement with cinema and games room spaces. There was also a requirement to create a dramatic entrance.

What we did

The solution proposed was to rotate the building through 90 degrees to face the driveway creating a more traditional front and back, public and private organisation of the house. The garage provides a link to the utility and kitchen spaces while there is also a more formal approach which draws you through a dramatic courtyard setting to the double height entrance hall, allowing a through view to the pool and garden area at the rear via a formal living and dining area.

Architecturally, on the upper levels, a timber framework has been used to break down the bulk of the building and give it greater visual lightness. The building incorporates various terraces which allow the maximisation of the available space while creating a luxurious treehouse feel to the bedrooms overlooking the tree canopies and the stream.

The large flat roof allowed for the integration of Solar panels to provide electricity for much of the house’s heating and cooling requirements as well as EV car charging, and water is collected from the roof for irrigation purposes.

A large family house which provides an impactful first impression, with a strong connection to its context within a compact setting.


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Gregory Phillips Architects

46 Bedford Row, London WC1R 4LR

+44 (0)20 7724 3040

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