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Buttrick Projects Architecture+Design completes the transformation of a quaint 1920s Palo Alto home into a creative modern residence, doubling its living space and adding a private courtyard and art gallery.


Project Team

Buttrick Projects A+D (Architecture)

Buttrick Projects A+D (Interiors)

Structus Inc. (Structural Engineering)

Murray Engineers Inc. Geotechnical)

Stroudwater Design (Landscape)

Pritchard Peck Lighting (Lighting Design)

Sherrill Construction (Contractor

Combine three distinct structures, create additional interior space, and form a private courtyard for an existing house and what do you have? Art House. Designed for any aficionado to fall in love with quicker than you can say “gallery,” this monolithic architecture achievement is designed to house a burgeoning art collection... not to mention the occasional guest or two.



When the lot adjacent to the owners’ home came on the market a few years ago, the very visionary residents of the property saw an opportunity to stretch their imagination beyond the small house where they had lived for twenty years while raising their four children. The challenge of working within the confines of the complex trapezoidal shape of the site and complying with the neighborhood’s scale while utilizing enough open space to satisfy the program was tasked to California-based architectural design firm Buttrick Projects Architecture+Design.




Anodized Aluminum Windows and Doors by Fleetwood

Corrugated Zinc Panels by VM Zinc

Cementitious Siding Panels by Swiss Pearl

Limestone Floors and Walls by ASN

Wood Floors by First Last and Always

Cabinets by Eby Cabinets

Board Formed Concrete Walls by Bill Brown Concrete

Wood Island Top by Arborica

Kitchen Tile by Heath




The brilliant minds of Buttrick Projects A+D located an area for art storage and studio structures against the rear setback. While keeping them low and discreet relative to the forward position of the taller new and original houses creates a false perspective, increasing the perceived depth of the property. Inside, it’s more creative and visual trickery. Case in point, the Art House’s living room boasts 11’ tall glass doors that disappear into pockets - all the better to blur the distinction between inside and outside while adding a grand scale. A small pool and lawn provide a focal point in the open space creating a veritable ‘village green’ where the family gathers on weekends. The home’s floorplan was inverted to place the bedrooms facing the street and the living room and kitchen in the rear, connecting entertaining spaces to the rear courtyard.



Art is present in every room and on every wall, better viewed thanks to the daylight filtered through perforated zinc that wraps the second level. The other primary material of the exterior is cementitious panels attached over metal ‘hat channels,’ a feature that effectively reduces direct thermal transfer. Greenish-grey limestone flooring throughout the main floor connects the interior spaces with the exterior patio, creating a delicious indoors/out aesthetic. The interior’s stark white ‘gallery’ quality melds with a muted palette of soft green colored stone, stained white oak, and warm neutral furnishings. A restrained and minimal design throughout the interiors recedes gracefully to allow the art to take center stage.

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