Renovation of William Wurster House, Woodside

Noted Bay Area architect William W. Wurster designed this residence on a gentle rise above surrounding fields and oak trees in 1932. Very little had changed, when the new owners, a couple with two active young children, acquired the property. They wanted to update and retool the spaces for today’s living standards, but not significantly change this historic residence. They also wanted to emphasize green building techniques. Hence, very little demolition occurred to the existing structure and there were no additions to the existing exterior mass of the building.

The living room was “reinvented” as the media/family room and a corner of the room furnished as a game playing area surrounded by books. The covered outdoor sunporch off the kitchen/dining room received a screened wall converting it into an indoor/outdoor dining room and play area.

For seismic purposes, the original front brick façade was replaced with stucco. One additional simple, yet overscaled, window was added to the Master Bedroom to accommodate furniture orientation while keeping intact Wurster’s refined sense of proportion.

Interior designer, Ann Jones, worked with the clients to maintain Wurster’s “California way of living” emphasizing in color, texture, and informal furniture the exterior landscape brought inside. The blurring of these indoor/outdoor boundaries and the reinforcing of “an everyday modernism” maintains Wurster’s original spirit while accommodating 21st century needs.

Photography: GTodd Photography

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