Extraordinary views in the heart of the city and a small, a buildable footprint limited by restrictive easements prompted a thin, three-story home with the main living spaces and master suite on the top floor – essentially a one-bedroom loft with 270° views. A sixteen-foot-tall ipe screen envelopes the body of the house, and rests delicately atop a base of long courses of black Leuders limestone, laid such that the material’s natural sedimentary grain undulates across their lengths. The visitor enters through a pivoting glass door, where the natural stone gives way to its dressed counterpart, and is immediately greeted by a stair of massive ebonized oak treads floating above twin steel channels, and hanging in a three-story vertical space. Beyond, an etched glass wall captures the projected shadows of a stand of giant bamboo, and a band of clear glass directs one’s gaze out to a private garden. Rough shards of granite pass through the gate and surround a subtle fountain of the same stone inside.
Punctuating the ipe facade are two steel box windows, their mirror-like reflection or deep shadow are posed against the filigree of the screen. In the evening this screen transforms into a lantern revealing a collection of spaces behind. The screen also holds the possibility of transforming the building when two ten-foot sections dramatically unfold and reveal the formal dining room (complete with an adjacent caterer’s kitchen and wine cellar).
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