Site size: .5 acres

Project size: 2,600 square feet

Program: The house floats in the canopy of a dense oak grove in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, just west of Silicon Valley. The conceptual idea was to float a glass box in the leaves of the trees on two trunk-like columns, disrupting as few oaks as possible. The dense tree canopy offers the opportunity to build a completely glass-walled house, protected from the direct rays of the sun, yet filled with dappled sunlight.

Location: Cupertino, California

Solution: The spaces are delineated by material. In the sunken office, all surfaces—flooring, desk, cabinetry—are milled from a single slab of Chinese pistachio. The sunken living room is filled with 144 square-feet of B&B Italia’s “Tufty time” sofa components. In the kitchen/dining room, a 22-foot-long counter of white composite quartz continues the kitchen work surface into the dining table. In the ceiling, flush mounted LED strips delineate these zones.


Additional Information

Completion date: December 2016

Gross square footage: 2,600 square feet

Total construction cost: withheld

Client: Pam and Paul Costa



Craig Steely Architecture
8 Beaver Street San Francisco CA 94114
415 864 7013


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

Craig Steely: Architect
Luigi Silverman: project architect
Project team: Ryan leidner, Toon Kantharoup, Anastasia Victor, Chris Talbott


Architect of record:

Craig Steely



Rabichev, (Structural Engineering);

Lea and Braze, (Civil Engineer)

General contractor:

Forsythe General Contractors,



Darren Bradley, 858 774 5876.



Landscape: Confidence landscaping,

Lighting: Craig Steely





Structural System

concrete piers with steel frame

Exterior Cladding

Metal panels: Alpolic metal composite materials

Wood: Sunken Office: desk slab, floor, steps and cabinetry:

Reclaimed Chinese Pistachio sourced by Evan Shively at Arborica,


Glass: Bonelli Windows and Doors,


Sliding doors: Bonelli Windows and Doors,


Locksets: baldwin

Closers: sagutsune

Other special hardware: Sliding and retractable panel hardware:
Hafele USA,

Interior Finishes

Demountable partitions:

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Office, wall, and kitchen cabinetry:
Wayne Berger,

Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore

Solid surfacing: Caesarstone


Office furniture: Chair in sunken office:
Herman Miller Eames Aluminum Group Side Chair

Chairs: Dining room chairs: Emeco Broom chair

Other furniture: Sunken living room couch: B&B Italia “Tufty-time”


Exterior: bega