SAN FRANCISCO – Hailing from San Francisco, California, Spiegel Aihara Workshop is an all-round architecture studio that has developed, since its inception in 2011, a research-based approach to design whereby scale and contextual challenges are qualified in one grasp. SAW sets itself apart from other local practices, with an ability to handle the transformative potential of built-form and integrate cross-disciplinary knowledge to a vast majority of its work.
The Low/Rise House is certainly not falling short of the practice’s ambitious agenda as it completely – and successfully – reframes the Northern California ranch home in a renewed suburban housing typology. The residence, erected on a 2000-sq-m plot of land, consists of sheer interlocking prisms acting on the one hand as an architectural response to the natural landscape and, on the other, accommodating the clients with well-defined living areas. The structures, intersecting so as to meet specific programmatic requirements, are latched onto a small tower which – certainly to the delight of the owners’ guests – houses comfortable private quarters, culminating in a spacious roof terrace.
Maintaining one of the area’s most prevalent building typologies, the project allowed the architects to contrive traditional architectural elements – mainly used for environmental purposes – within a flexible and efficient layout that speaks to the modern man. Its clean lines, raising the rectilinear house’s sharp profile, are softened by the warm tones of the wooden exterior and the surroundings of natural, lush greenery.