House in Lafayette

This active family of four with two teenage children had outgrown their earlier home and purchased an empty acre nearby in Contra Costa County. The site is an open meadow sloping down to a creek and redwood grove.

The house plan seeks to take advantage of the creek and the meadow by bisecting the site with an open U-shaped courtyard plan. The entry wing has the formal living and dining spaces with the Master Suite above. The flanking wing has the children’s and guest rooms. Spanning between the two is the heart and hearth of the home – the kitchen and family room. This space is treated as a barn pavilion opening onto the creek and on the other side, the “tamer” perennial garden.

The three main wings are shingled with white board connectors to reinforce a New England farmhouse informal collection of spaces: contemporary yet reminiscent of an area in which the family is connected. The simple, white interiors reflect this New England frugality and emphasize the important connection to the outdoor spaces so critical for California living.

Photography: Matthew Millman

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