This house for a couple with two small children is situated on a sloping hillside lot with panoramic northwest views. The house is Janus-faced: towards the street, a com¬pletely blank facade is interrupted only by an S-shaped exterior passage; towards the view, the house is entirely glazed, protected by a continuous perimeter overhang.

Formally, the project is conceived as two parallel offset bars which bend to conform to the site setbacks and sag to follow the existing topography. At the point of maximum tension, this sagging tears the bars apart. The final house consists of a single continuous surface which twists and delaminates to create three fluidly connected levels. Continuity is enhanced by an extremely open interior plan with no conventional room divisions or doors to interrupt the flow of the public space. Designed to perform as a continuous landscape merging interior and exterior promenades, a series of concentric circulation loops intertwine all three levels of the house – and linking house and site at selected locations.

LOCATION: Orinda, California

PROGRAM: 5,600 sf house

PUBLICATIONS: Futagawa, Yoshio (ed.), "Loop" in GA Houses 120: Project 2011, March 2011

STATUS: Unbuilt.

TEAM: Structural, Derrick Roorda (Buro Happold)