The house that architects Joshua Aidlin and Peter Larsen devised in Hillsborough, California, appears as an enormous glass pavilion. It incorporates rammed earth walls in addition to glass ones, and it’s topped with a kite-like asymmetrical butterfly roof.
“Contemporary design practices are too driven by optics and making a great image for the Internet,” says Larsen. “A house is not a purely visual object. We’re much more interested in creating an embodied human experience.”
The rammed earth walls supply sustainability and texture for the building, while the glass walls allow sunlight to pour into the rooms and offer the residents a connection to the landscape.
Designer Gary Hutton arranged modernist low-profile furnishings with an earthy palette that speak to the clients’ preferences and blend with the landscape.
“I did a custom rug with greens and amber,” says Hutton, who selected Living Divani sofas covered with pale pumpkin-colored chenille and leather.
Hutton brought brighter hues into the nearby dining area by surrounding the geometric wood dining table with chairs that showcase coral-colored leather.
“The Creation Baumann drapery fabric has been cut and sewn back together with bright orange thread, giving it this very sophisticated patchwork design,” the designer says. “The cotton was grown in the United States and processed in a zero-waste factory in Switzerland.”
In the end, the residence offers sustainable spaces the owners and their visitors can enjoy for years to come.
“This house is a LEED Platinum-certified home with net-zero energy,” Aidlin says. “We wanted the building to be as sculpturally dynamic as it is practical.”