Craig Steely Architecture has completed “Pam & Paul’s House”, a floating glass box nestled away in the dense Oak grove of the Santa Cruz Mountains, just west of Silicon Valley.
Inspired by delicate leaves supported by large tree trunks, the house sits on two chunky columns and has been designed in a way that disrupts the existing landscape as little as possible. By blending the house into the landscape, the structure also benefits from the speckled shade cast from the surrounding trees, keeping the house cool and avoiding a “glass oven” situation.
Inside, the living areas have been left largely open but have been subtly broken up through the use of height, sinking areas like the office and sofa into the floor to create zones of peace and seclusion. “These spaces are further delineated by material. In the sunken office, all surfaces—flooring, desk, and cabinetry are milled from a single slab of Chinese pistachio,” says Craig Steely Architecture.
LED strips have also been embedded in the ceiling, creating geometric lines that break up the space and create subtle boundaries. The glass exterior continues this idea of a “permeable wall” and allows the inhabitants to feel close and connected to the natural world. Mule deer rest in the shade of the cantilever, while grey squirrels run along the branches just 10-feet from the kitchen table. “The expanse of glass feels permeable and disappears only to leave nature as it always has been in the grove,” adds the firm.