Piedmont House

Piedmont House

Piedmont, CA

The design of this residence in Piedmont, CA allows three generations of global family with Chinese roots to convene while affording them privacy and separation (with the hopes for positive communion!).

The center of the home is an internal courtyard for dining, a reflection of traditional courtyard homes and customs in China. Shared spaces continue and interlock off this central space, with much-needed private realms beyond this public realm. Generational sub-sets are acknowledged and accommodated in groupings of bedrooms and sitting rooms that open onto private gardens.

Minimizing disturbance to the largely wooded site and maximizing enjoyment of nature from the house’s interior also were primary design intentions.

Mindfulness of sustainability was present throughout the design process. The grounds’ existing grades were barely changed, (disturbance was limited to an average of eight feet beyond the house’s footprint). No significant trees were lost. Cooling is achieved from passive geothermal systems (thirty percent of built area is below grade), and careful orientation, natural ventilation, and sun shading minimize the need for mechanical cooling. Heating is provided primarily from passive solar. Most of the structure, cladding, and floors were specified to be rapidly renewable and/or certified woods. And, with the exception of pebbles set in to external pavers, no stone was used.

Scope: Architecture, Interior Architecture, Interior Design