Oakland, CA - Dharma Residence

Immersed among large oak trees enjoying 270 degrees view of San Francisco Bay Area south of the Golden Gate Bridge, the residence features 3 bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms on 2,800 square feet of enclosed space; built in light gauge metal supporting insulated panels with metal exterior painted in custom car metallic paint color.

The massing is a minimalistic rectangular box with a detached 4 car garage behind the building. The exterior skin has oak wood rain screen accents at random size/locations and powder coated aluminum louvered sliders that can be rolled anywhere on the facade. The owner is a bank digital security engineer therefore the design of the house was inspired by an always changing bar code which is "encrypted" within the overlap of the metal skin, window openings, oak rain screen and metal sliding shutters. The shutters have the purpose to filter/block light entering to "paint" inside the house the preferred light shadow combination based on the mood, while filtering the view of the large oak trees juxtaposing this avant-garde metal box house.

The residence interior layout was carefully designed to assure a connection with nature at every point of the plan and at every moment transitioning from room to room while framing dramatic views of the surrounding nature, sculptural oak tree branches and tree trunks. The staircase is an opportunity to graze the surrounding tree feeling as if walking outdoor, the upper window is an opportunity to observe the sky and when we arrive to the office at the third floor, the small open space has floor to ceiling glass on three sides, one of which is sloped to transform into a waterfall during rainy days.

Finally the landscape articulates around a paved hardscape area which connects to the geometry and rhythm between wall and windows; a radical design move to dramatically connect a rigid yet organic form of architecture to the exterior environment. The metallic finish paint at the exterior was also adopted to create reflections of the surrounding trees into the building to create a poetic sense of arrival climbing through nature.