Midcentury Modern Update: House Features Two Floating Volumes



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Two timber-clad rectilinear wings expand a midcentury modern ranch house in Menlo Park, California, remaining true to the classic minimalist feel of the original structure while adding a few contemporary touches. Ball House by Terry & Terry Architecture separates the private bedrooms from the common spaces by putting them in diverging, floating volumes that stretch into the backyard toward the garden.

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The fissure between the two new volumes is enclosed with curving glass panels, creating a little atrium that draws the garden into the home. On the front end of the common wing, the roof cantilevers out over asphalt to create a new carport, while on the other, an elevated terrace steps down to the lawn.

Glazing on the ends of each new wing creates a telescopic effect as the structures themselves stretch out to meet the greenery. Warm wood cladding continues from the interior floors, walls and ceilings to the exterior surfaces, fostering a sense of continuity that puts the focus on the clean lines of the home.

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The small original ranch house was altered to contain a music room, two bedrooms and a bathroom, with a new steel bay window seat looking out toward the street. “Conceived for a retired couple, the open and accessible design integrates the living space with the rear garden to create a well-lit domestic extension,” say the architects.

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