Location - Modesto, California, USA
On an ancient plateau along the steep banks of the Tuolumne River, the multiple programs of this project are envisioned as a series of filters through which to experience the deep geologic time of this particular landscape. A bamboo fence from the west wraps the street-side carport and workshop at the south edge of the site and invites one into a central courtyard revealing a white gravel floor, a sunken bamboo garden, a formal garden of laurel hedge, all serving as multiple scalar frames for the sky. Upon approach, the multi-family residence appears as yet another fence, in this case one constructed of glass and mill-finish stainless steel plates which march underneath the canopies of four towering oak trees, defining the northern edge of the central court. This monochromatic filter slowly reveals the oak trees and the Tuolumne River below. Beyond the filter, one discovers two houses with a guest tree house suspended between. A series of dense “cabinets” contain the smaller bits of program which effectively amplify the larger public spaces in-between. The panoramic and telescopic public spaces heighten the experience of the horizontal river below and the vertical presence of the immense river oaks within each respective house.