Small/Shapiro House
Orinda, California

This project received an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Design Award.

A new lower level was added to an existing 2-story house on a steep down slope lot in the San Francisco Bay Area. A primary criteria in the addition was to build down to the earth and create a strong connection between the interior and the exterior. The desire was to feel like you are outdoors, when you were in fact still inside the house.

The house speaks of movement and vision, where there is always a continuity of vision from one space to the next, where there is a visual without a physical presence. The house accomplishes this by incorporating a series of mezzanines, balconies, and loggias within the circulation system, which gracefully connects the 3 levels. A strong indoor/outdoor connection is made by large openings to the patio and garden.