Fisher/Castellano Phase II
Palo Alto, California

Lindy Small designed a new 2,000 s.f. house in Palo Alto, Ca., and six years after the house was completed the clients requested Lindy to design an upper level to this house. The new second story is a seamless addition to the existing one-story house. An open stairway connects the lower level to the new upper level bedroom and bath, and a sustainable wood sunscreen at the front of the house allows for both sun control and privacy.

The location of the new stair was critical in the design of the second level. The integrity and function of the existing barrel vaults needed to be maintained, and the client requested the raised corner platform, used as a private reading area within the public space, not to be sacrificed. A 'surgical incision' was necessary for this new stair. The new stair begins as an integrated part of a newly designed raised reading area, then transitions into wedge-shaped oak treads which float above the reading space.

The upper level has an open bedroom/bath area, with a burnt orange-colored privacy wall, which stops short of the sloped ceiling. Privacy is maintained but radiant light transfers between the bedroom and bath, both from east to west and north to south.