Round House / Feldman Architecture
Text description provided by the architects. Tucked away in Los Altos Hills, the aptly named Round House is a geometrically unique structure; one of the few houses of the same shape built in the 1960s in California. The clients fell in love with this quirky round house and had initially planned a modest renovation. Shortly after moving in, the couple recognized the inefficiencies of their new home — low window frames curiously hindered the otherwise spectacular view, fueling their desire to open up and modernize the design. Our team set out to respectfully enrich the home’s original form, emphasizing a site-sensitive response to the steep, challenging plot.
The structure sits atop a steep site and has a 180-degree view with a deck that wraps around the perimeter. The original central courtyard, once open to the sky, has been transformed into the kitchen – a fitting gesture for an aspiring baker and family of food lovers. A large circular skylight allows daylight to flood into the kitchen, creating a makeshift sundial that illuminates various sections of custom curved cabinetry throughout the day.
From the main entrance, visitors can effortlessly pass through the open-plan living room, kitchen and spacious deck before circling the house via a wraparound walkway. A concentric hallway follows the kitchen and leads to discrete pie-shaped rooms carefully arranged to delimit privately from the public space.
An outdoor deck has been strategically carved at the intersection of the living room and kitchen – with expansive views of the South Bay. Tall, curved pocket doors disappear into the walls, creating a seamless connection between the inside and the outside. The modest perimeter deck provides exterior access from all bedrooms, while curved landscape walls radiate outward and in a thoughtful softscape.
A Japanese style of charred wood siding called Shou Sugi Ban, seamless concrete floors, crisply curved white walls and minimalist interiors let the colorful and dramatic views speak first. Due to the challenges of the circular shape, the project team had to look for creative solutions in every aspect of the business. Most conventional solutions prefer straight geometry, providing a refreshing intervention that is a fair response to the limitations of this unique project.