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California Home Designed as Architectural Art

Vidalakis Residence is a 7000 sq.ft. L-shaped home that is located on a peninsula within a 3.8-acre semi-rural parcel of land in Portola Valley, California. The home was built for an avid art collector, and the design was inspired by the idea that the home itself would be a work of art, or more specifically, a work of architectural art – because after all, what art collector wouldn’t want to live in a work of art?

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The site the home resides on is a gentle sloping hill with mature oak, cedar and pine trees that are dense enough to provide privacy from the neighboring houses, without removing the views of San Francisco at the distance.

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While most art collectors limit themselves to fine art hung on walls, this art collector has also curated an amazing collection of sculpture for both indoors and outside.

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Aside from an immense abstract installation in the front yard and an even more abstract blue piece that offers shade to the swimming pool around the corner, visitors are also greeted by a bright orange front door.

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Barely visible a bright yellow inset into the concrete wall lights up at night to showcase another feature sculpture.

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The abstracted installation references the male and female forms.

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The swimming pool is a 75ft linear design with infinity edges on three sides and an overhanging wood terrace on the fourth side and it is located to take advantage of the expansive views to San Francisco.

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A large concrete wall projects into the landscape framing and defining the outdoor zones on both sides of the house.

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The blue sculpture next to the pool offers shade via its as though it too is one of the landscaped trees albeit a very abstracted one.

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Oversized sliding glass doors lead from the pool terrace to the dining area which is designed for large parties with its two square 8-seater dining tables.

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The Lucite minimizes the size of the tables, allowing the space to feel open and airy.

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On one side of the double volume dining room is the kitchen which has a more intimate setting created by the dropped wood clad ceiling and smaller windows.

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On the other side of the dining area is the living room, filled with creative furnishings and beautiful artwork.

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The living room is wrapped on three sides with windows and overlooks the landscaping on both sides of the house.

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The landscaping on the other side of the house includes an outdoor dining area accessed by the same large scale sliding glass doors as those installed to access the pool zone.

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Special Solarban 70SL glass was used to moderate solar gains on this large, south facing three storey window wall.

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Due to the slope of the site, the gardens on this side have been terraced.

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Here too, art is part of the landscape.

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On the other side of the glass wall is a 3-storey stairwell that pulls hot air upward before releasing it through a large pocketing window at the top. This passive heat release eliminates the need for air conditioning.

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The stairwell leads from the social zone below to the private areas, including the master suite.

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The master suite includes a large ensuite on the opposite end of the home from the main entrance. The gentle slope of the site from front to back means that even though the ensuite is upstairs, it still has its own outdoor zone through another pair of oversized sliding glass doors.

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Ensuring privacy for the ensuite is the 3-storey concrete wall that extends out into the landscape.

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Another bathroom elsewhere in the house is more private but just as interesting with its marble walls, irregular shaped bulbous sink, artwork and beautiful woodwork.

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Vidalakis Residence is an L-shaped hone with the short leg of the L holding a home office, a detached garage and a guesthouse.

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Photography by .
If you love the design of Vidalakis Residence you might want to check out the unique nature inspired Tea Houses by Swatt Miers Archtiecture we previously featured.

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