Prioreschi/Ben-Gal Residence
Albany, California

The clients bought a house which had been neglected for decades. States the client: "We bought the house for its potential, knowing that, with a good professional, we could turn the house into one which succeeded not only in aesthetic terms, but in creating in us a sense of delight and joy of living."

The design of this renovation began with the elimination of interior walls and finishes. The ceiling was raised, windows were relocated and skylights added. The house quickly became a "see-thru" house, where both the front and year gardens are simultaneously visible, and space, light, and air flow uninterrupted.

The public space is one open room, but a private element – the "Nest" – is inserted into this room. The Nest is a raised platform surrounded by bookshelves. It is a perfect place to be alone yet be with people – to curl up with a book, to snuggle, to use as a spare bed, and to use as extra storage (the platform is hinged to access storage below).

The front entry is separated by an etched glass wall. It contains the entry essentials – coat closet, bench, mirror, shoe cubby.

This house underwent a true transformation of spatial qualities, where the notion of public v. private is reconsidered, and brought together into an integrated whole. Sustainable products and systems were utilized throughout the project.