After purchasing a traditional English-style home in Atherton, California, a young entrepreneurial couple with two children approached the Feldman Architecture design team with a clear vision: a dramatic transformation of the existing home and gardens into a sleek, contemporary complex that embraces natural light while seamlessly connecting the interior to the exterior design.
The original structure, with its formal layout, turned its back on the vast landscape and beautiful natural surroundings of Northern California, with a heritage oak tree in the front courtyard and a rose garden virtually hidden from view from the inside. The new design, conceived by Feldman Architecture for a young family, with interior architecture by BAMO, reimagines this composition by opening up the rooms to each other, as well as to the landscape. Interior proportions are refined, design details simplified, and illumination and air well arranged. For the sake of refined elegance, ornamentation and exterior details are reduced. The interior color palette is fresh and contemporary, reinforced by clean off-white, natural finishes and subtle layers of texture. A new entrance and enlarged staircase form the heart of the grand residence and one of the main sources of natural light. The graceful curves of the staircase create a floating sensation and eliminate the need for landings between levels. The three-storey form of the stair hall is mirrored by an elliptical skylight supporting a custom chandelier, mimicking the cascading movement of daylight above. The front facade is simplified and refreshed, and additional access is found on the basement level enlivened by strategically placed light sources, creating a relaxation room, two guest bedrooms, a craft room and a fitness room. On the first floor, full-height glass doors in the living room open onto a south-facing garden and outdoor living space. Vaulted ceilings reinforce the vertical scale and offer a soft textured glow, thanks to light wood panels. The kitchen benefits from the same folding door system. Upstairs, each corner houses a bedroom, optimizing views, clarity and privacy. This sensibility continues in the master suite and home offices. In collaboration with landscape architect Ground Studio, Feldman Architecture connects the pool and gardens to the home. Every interior space here opens onto an exterior landmark.