In wooded Portola Valley, California, just south of San Francisco, architect Malcolm Davis resuscitated a dysfunctional 1960s house, whose original design had long been lost to a series of unfortunate remodels. By the time he arrived, “it was cut up in a funny way,” said the architect. “There wasn’t a thread of logic to it.”
For starters, the design didn’t take advantage of the hillside site and the striking valley views it afforded. The living room and master bedroom had only eight-foot ceilings and were tucked on the ground floor next to the pool. It was also too small for the clients, a young couple just starting a family.
Davis, a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory, retained the structure’s good qualities, including “a nice, midcentury modern, pitched roof shape and beautiful exposed beam ceilings.” Capitalizing on the hillside site, he dropped the ground level about six feet to give generously tall ceilings to a new family room and guest suite. And he added a new master wing with wraparound deck and floor-to-ceiling windows to take in the dramatic views.
N.B.: Today on Gardenista we’re featuring the exterior of the house.
Photography by Joe Fletcher, courtesy of Malcolm Davis Architect.
See the rest of exterior today on Gardenista.
For more from the architect, see:
- Channeling the Spirit of Sea Ranch, Anniversary Edition
- Kitchen of the Week: A Modern Farmhouse Kitchen in SF (Before and After)
- In California Wine Country, A Family Campground (Plus Lap Pool)
Frequently asked questions
Who is Malcom Davis?
Malcom Davis is an architect and designer based in San Francisco.
What is the Portola House?
The Portola House is a residential project designed and built by Malcom Davis in San Francisco.
What is the design approach of Malcom Davis?
Malcom Davis believes in creating functional and inspiring spaces that reflect the unique needs and personalities of his clients while also ensuring sustainability and sensitivity to the environment.
What is unique about the Portola House?
The Portola House combines a contemporary design with the use of natural materials and sustainable practices, resulting in a beautiful and eco-friendly home.
What materials were used in the Portola House?
The Portola House uses a combination of natural materials such as wood, stone and glass, as well as metal and concrete.
What are the sustainable features of the Portola House?
The Portola House uses solar panels for energy, a green roof for insulation, and rainwater collection for irrigation and greywater reuse.
Can I commission Malcom Davis for my own project?
Yes, Malcom Davis is available for residential and commercial projects. You can contact him through his website.
Is the Portola House open for public viewing?
No, the Portola House is a private residence and is not open to the public.