At the end of a quiet residential street lined with low-slung 1960s ranch-style homes, the Woodvalley House provides its owner a contemporary, private retreat. The house, nestled into the hillside to minimize the scale of its 6200 square feet, affords direct and unobstructed access and views to the landscaped rear yard, gardens, and wooded ravine beyond the edge of the property. The simply articulated main body of the house is wrapped in a zinc rain-screen system and captures the kitchen, dining and living rooms in a single, monumental 18-foot high space. Smaller spaces, including the entry, a guest bedroom/office, and the master bedroom suite are discreet cedar-sided boxes that plug into the zinc-clad bar. A custom mahogany window wall system blurs interior and exterior spaces extending the great room to the terraces, gardens, and swimming pool. High-performance glazing with ceramic frit and large overhangs mitigate solar heat gain in the summer months. Radiant concrete and tile floors and the low-angle sun keep the interior spaces light-filled and comfortable throughout the winter.
The project included several sustainable features which promoted increased occupant comfort, health and energy efficiency, even though the team did not seek LEED Certification. For instance, high-performance glazing with special ceramic frit and large overhangs mitigate solar heat gain in the summer months. Heated radiant concrete and tile floors in combination with glazing that takes advantage of low-angle sun keep the interior spaces light-filled and comfortable throughout the winter. Imbedding the mass of the building into the hillside on the north side helps to decrease heat loss during winter and insulates the home during the hot summers. Operable glazing allows the house to be opened during temperate months to provide natural ventilation and connection with the exterior.