DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE
The talented team at Feldman Architecture have brilliantly unleashed the full potential of a newly constructed residence nestled harmoniously into the picturesque hillside of Portola Valley, California.
PHOTOGRAPHY: ADAM ROUSE
Feldman Architecture is known to embark its clients on an unforgettable adventure where their imagination can soar and explore the boundless possibilities that await. They allow dreams to become reality and ordinary moments to become extraordinary memories. Their latest residential project, Rau Haus, is a testament to their captivating work.
A couple who had a young daughter and wanted to move away from the city in search of more space reached out to Feldman Architecture to design their forever home. The family was in search of a modern, secluded, and modestly-sized residence with a specific area for hosting family and friends. They had already chosen a sweeping piece of land in the South Bay that sloped westward towards the Coal Creek Preserve. Feldman Architecture’s vision for the design focused on immersing visitors in picturesque rolling green hills while providing a rare glimpse of the San Francisco Bay to the North.
The design concept revolved around strategically positioning public and private living spaces to take advantage of the views while ensuring privacy from neighboring properties. The L-shaped layout of the building is gently nestled into the eastern side of the hill, creating an outdoor enclosure and framing stunning views from the indoor living areas.
Architect: Feldman Architecture
Interior Designer: FQ Designs
Landscape Architect: Thuilot Associates
Lighting Design: Tucci Lighting
Structural Engineer: ZFA Engineers
Civil Engineer: Lea & Braze Engineering
MEP: Philip Neuman Energy Design
Great care was taken to minimize any obstruction of views from the surrounding properties. The main structure runs from north to south, with an expanded double-height kitchen and dining area visually connecting the main level to a study loft and bedrooms on the upper floor. The eastern façade features light wells and clerestory windows, which welcome morning light and provide glimpses of greenery while maintaining privacy. A single-story section with a green roof extends perpendicular to the main structure, blending harmoniously with the natural landscape and offering a versatile space at the pool level for recreation, exercise, and entertainment. The infinity pool acts as a transition zone where the well-manicured landscape seamlessly merges with the native meadow-like surroundings.
Private views of the bay to the North can be enjoyed from the primary suite, while a view deck allows for public enjoyment of the same vista. The clients precisely desired a publicly accessible roof deck that wouldn’t compromise the privacy of their bedroom.
The choice of materials focuses on durability and low maintenance. The second story is clad in sturdy stucco, while Monterey Cypress siding, which develops an elegant patina over time, gracefully connects the main level. The geometrically stacked stucco and Cypress bars blend seamlessly with the interior, emphasizing a modern, understated, clean aesthetic that extends to the interior and surrounding landscape.