USA Trends Home Trends Vol 31 No 12 USA - Page 10

Top floor First floor Ground floor Ground floor Legend to plans: 1 entry, 2 living room, 3 kitchen, 4 patio, 5 professional office, 6 garage, 7 guest suite, 8 studio, 9 pool, 10 family room, 11 bedroom, 12 master suite, 13 home office. Bold, unconventional, daring – no matter how you describe this new house, words will not do it justice. And that’s because it was designed to do something completely different. Owner Nicole Vidalakis, of Portola Valley, California, commissioned architect Robert Swatt to design her an artwork, not a house. “Nicole didn’t really want a house,” Swatt says. “She wanted a work of art that happened to be a place to call home.” “This was never about comfort,” Vidalakis says. “I was inspired by the Johnson Glasshouse in Connecticut that sits like a sculpture in the search | save | share at landscape. I wanted people to question the building and see it as a piece of art.” Swatt says the typography of the site, which has a slight slope, helped to determine the form of the house. “The building needed to engage with the landscape, so we stepped it down the hill, creating a soaring volume at the lower level. Simple, natural materials were also key – the house is a composition of overlapping and intersecting planes of wood, glass, metal and concrete, which give it a very elemental look.” Windows on the long axis are framed in