Project size: 3,400 square feet

Program: The project is a renovation and addition to an existing single-family midcentury hillside house. The existing open plan, roof form, cantilever deck, and basic layout epitomize the beloved inside-outside living style of Californian modernism. The challenge was to take a wonderfully conceived, but poorly realized structure and make it reach its potential under technological and budgetary constraints.

Location: Los Gatos, California

Solution: The design response accentuates the openness of the façade and the continuity of surface throughout, and creates the ability to seamlessly subdivide the space with translucent screens for more gracious living. The space below the house’s cantilevering living room was re-purposed as parking, with a sliding stacking door system that moves to the side, maintaining the feeling of flight. All lighting was replaced with LEDS that are tied into a home automation control system, and new window and door systems were installed.

Construction and materials: A contemporary cast glass translucent window was added to the far end of the entry area, in dialogue with an existing one at the opposite end. The theme of transparency is also expressed in the half wall panels around the dining area, as well as the sliding frameless glass panels between the kitchen and dining areas, and the dining and family rooms. The entry area, living room, and terrace have new custom cast concrete tiles for a seamless transition to the exterior. Hot-rolled steel is used at the two existing fireplaces, and the screen between them. The steel hearth for the family room fireplace is sculpted to form steps up to the laundry and guest bedroom wing of the house, their form being purely sculptural when the hidden coplanar wood veneered door is closed. All of the cabinet wood veneer in the kitchen area and family room is made of reclaimed Eucalyptus felled at the Presidio in San Francisco.


Additional Information

Completion date: June 2016

Gross square footage: 3,400 square feet

Total project cost: $1,300,000

Client/Owner: Withheld




Mark English, AIA
Mark English Architects
523 Francisco Street
San Francisco, CA  94133
ph: 415 391 0186

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:

Project Architect:  Mark English, architect, AIA
Architect: Greg Corbett
Associate: Brian Pearson
Associate: Samantha Senn


Architect of record: Mark English Architects



GFDS Structural Engineers, San Francisco, CA


General contractor:

De Mattei Construction, San Jose, CA



Joe Fletcher, (415) 216-7948





Structural System

Wood frame and structural steel.

Manufacturer of any structural components unique to this project: In the Living Room, the new window and door systems are exposed to 80 mile per hour winds with regularity. To resist these loads while minimizing the size of the structure (view obstruction) and retain a store-bought warranty, we came up with a hybrid window system. Vertical 1/2" thick x 12" deep hot rolled steel fins are sandwiched between storefront frames. A horizontal fin at 9 feet ties the vertical fins together and provides the armature for the roller shade enclosures.

Exterior Cladding

Masonry: Cement plaster.

Metal/glass curtain wall: A new custom designed and fabricated powder-coated steel sunscreen structure is designed to hold panels of tinited tempered galss to act as a sunshade at the west facing (front) facade.
De Mattei construction

Wood: Clear cedar horizontal Bevel siding with clear finish.


Other: White cool roof TPO.


Metal frame: Fleetwood door and window systems.


Glass: Guardian SuperNeutral 68 Low-E glass.

Skylights: Velux.


Entrances: Painted solid core wood door, renovated original cast glass feature window.

Metal doors: Fleetwood door and window systems.

Sliding doors: Weiland Lift and Slide door, Living room.

Special doors: Glass Stationary and moving Panels: Satin Etched tempered Starfire Glass with stainless fittings by CRL & Hafele.


Locksets: FSB

Closers: Sugatsune Flush Sliding door hardware for "disappearing" door panel in Family Room.

Pulls: Hafele.
Interior Finishes

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Cabinets: Custom by Cutting Edge Cabinets, San Jose, CA. 

Paneling: Horizontal Eucalyptus veneer panels by Cutting Edge Cabinets in the Family toom.

Solid surfacing: Master Bathroom countertops, shower bench and shower walls: Pental Quartz.
Main Kitchen countertops: Pental Quartz
Red Kitchen Counter: IceStone
Special surfacing: 1/8" Hot Rolled steel at Family room fireplace, steps and Living Room fireplace hearth.

Floor and wall tile: Concrete Tile Floor: Polished tiles by Concrete Collaborative, Living Room and entry
Concrete Floating Tile: Honed concrete tiles on Bison lifts by Concrete Collaborative

Master Bathroom Flooring: Porcelanosa Tile.

Raised flooring: Wood Living Room Ceiling: Clear Red Cedar with clear satin finish, no groove.

Special interior finishes unique to this project: Wood Living Room Ceiling: Clear Red Cedar with clear satin finish, no groove.


Chairs: see below

Tables: see below

Other furniture: Living Room:
Line-scape Wall Paining: Paintedin place by Momoko
Sofa: "RAY" Citterio, B&B Italia.
Chairs: BARCELONA by Knoll.
Red Chair & Ottoman: "METROLPOLITAN" B&B Italia.
Wall Cabinet: "PAB" Studio Kairos, B&B Italia.
Coffee Table: "SURFACE" B&B Italia.
Stool: EAMES walnut shape C.
Entry Ottoman: "BEND" B&B Italia.
Dining Table: "XILOS" Citterio, Maxalto from Arkitectura.
Dining Chairs: "FEBO" Citterio, Maxalto from Arkitectura.
Wall Unit: "PAB" Studio Kairos, B&B Italia.
Kitchen Stools: "LEM" by Lapalma.
Sofa: "RAY" Sectional, Citterio, B&B Italia.
Coffee Tables: "Fat Fat" Urquiola, B&B Italia.

Interior ambient lighting: Track Systems: Juno Trac 12
LED strips below Dining room cantilever, in skylight shafts, in ceilings along sliding interior glass panels: Aion LED systems.

Downlights: Cree.

Tasklighting: Lumenline 2 by Lumenpulse at Family Room fireplace niches.

Exterior: Cree recessed.

Dimming system or other lighting controls: Lutron.


Elevators/escalators: Garaventa Lift elevator.


Energy management or building automation system: Lutron Dimming.

Other unique products that contribute to sustainability: Car Charging stations by Watt Point, Control Module inc.

Add any additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project: Free-standing decorative steel screen: Hot rolled steel, custom water jet cut decorative pattern by Blank & Cables, Oakland.