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Santa Clara, CA - Residence

Modern minimalist residence of approximately 3250 square feet located at the top of a hill in the Morgan Hill area near San Jose, CA.

The unobstructed views of the surrounding hills are the main reason for the choice of this site. The owners requested a minimal, clean and open space layout with the strictest feng shui principle applied to the design and circulation.

Furthermore, the front door of the house had to be exactly facing 221 degrees Southwest.


The residence, initially designed making use of steel structure, was organized in two main wings with the sleeping areas located in the west wing and the living spaces in the east wing.


(contunue below...)


The two wings of the residences are separated by a glazed corridor where the entryway is located. When entering the building, we leave at our back a stunning reflecting pool with infinity edge facing the views, while at the front we can admire a Zen garden that is enclosed on 3 sides by the exterior walls of the residence.

The Zen garden is visible from the living room through a see thru fireplace finished in white Carrara marble that gives a little contrast in texture to a place that is otherwise finished with white walls or white lacquer paneling to conceal all the cabinetry and storage. Service doors are also integrated within the lacquered paneling to be visible only when opened. The floors are throughout done in slid white oak, custom stained in light gray and finished in a high gloss to mirror the minimal space into the floor and give a sense that you are walking on water.


The glazed corridor becomes a special moment where we can observe the views on one side and the Zen Garden on the other while we connect with the two. During nighttime When the views disappear to become a black canvas, the illuminated pool takes over to dialogue with the opposing Zen Garden, also illuminated.  This space is what made the owners dream.

The master bedroom faces the view and also the bed is oriented in the same direction, while the bath tub is placed at the corner of the residence and wrapped by a continuous corner window to admire the sun path to its disappearance late evening.


On the opposite side of the residence, where we have the kitchen, there is also a similar corner window that functions as a backsplash. In the morning, when preparing breakfast. The sun rising east will enter the kitchen to cast long and gentle shadows to connect the morning bird owners to the new day that has just begun.

Both windows due to the fact hat they are quite long (the kitchen one, on one side is about 10 feet) required a clever engineering strategy where a portion of the wall above the windows is literally hanging over the glass and supported by a double cantilever system. Paolo Volpis Architects designed the solution that was then verified and approved by the structural engineer.


In the living wing the living and den are characterized by a double height ceiling and floor to ceiling windows o one side, while on he opposite side, there are skylights to graze the walls with light and create string shadows on clear days to bring the outdoor weather inside the house.

At the second floor of the living wing, reachable through a staircase made of cantilevered threads and glass handrail, is an open office space for two to then reach a ho e theatre and gym that are located over the garage space equipped with car chargers.


The overall design and space planning is characterized by an overall concept, which is that at the end of any rectilinear walking path we have a window to frame a view or a piece of art. There is a continuous and ever changing connection with the surrounding outdoors to augment the living experience to the highest level.  

The only color that is found in the residence, is composed of the art that is installed on specific walls, the Zen Garden, and the surrounding views.