-by Tali Hardonag, Architect-

A small mid-century tract home in the Coastwise neighborhood of Midtown Palo Alto was renovated and expanded to create an open flowing space for hosting and entertaining. Blending rustic elements with modern forms, a light filled great room concept evolved.

Focusing on sustainability, green materials and designed for aging in place, the home took on an industrial style, with exposed engineered parallam lumber and black steel accents. The anchoring element is the vertically aligned fireplace by Ortal Fireplace. Rising two floors high, it is inset behind a sheet metal panel and wrapped in a plaster surround hand finished with American Clay.


Extending the length of the lot, the lower roof has deep overhangs on the south-west for sun shading and excellent orientation for Photo Voltaic panels and Solar Hot Water collectors. Smaller windows on the upper loft are remotely operable for passive cooling. Exterior materials such as integral colored stucco, standing seam metal roofing and vinyl clad windows were selected for low maintenance. Hardscaping materials and native planting were chosen for low-water needs.


The new home offers both great rooms and small private cozy areas, and easily blends with the small garden areas, offering varying places to entertain or relax in privacy.


Why Ortal: I searched for a vertical form that was simply detailed and could present as both modern and rustic. Ortal 40H70 offered the right size and proportions, and it could easily be integrated behind a rustic steel panel to accentuate the vertical.



Architect & blog writer: Tali Hardonag Architect
Photographer: Mark Pinkerton – vi360 Photography
American Clay Artist: Orit Yanai
Steel Artist: Lee Crowley
Color Consulting: Penelope Jones Interior Design


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