Dialogue of two homes

atelier V’s Bishop 1+1 Residence begins construction

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Westwood, California

atelier V : architecture (www.atelierv.com) began construction on the so called Bishop 1 + 1 Residences in Menlo Park, California in late December 2012. ¬†The project is a planned collection of two small homes on an¬†approximately¬†10,000 SF lot located in a wooded setting in Northern California‚Äôs Silicon Valley. ¬†‚ÄúWhat made the setting especially interesting for us was the existence of the San Francisquito Creek on the¬†immediate¬†northern boundary of the site.‚ÄĚ says Mark Vaghei, AIA, atelier V‚Äôs Design principal. ¬† ¬†The site had two existing 1950‚Ä≤s¬†bungalows¬†that had to be demolished to pave the way for the new structures. ¬†The client, initially wanted to do one bigger house for his family, However, due to the rural/ small scale nature of the¬†neighborhood and local opposition, he was¬†convinced¬†to modify his plans and apply for a subdivision to build two smaller homes. ¬†The subdivision map process became a long legal battle as well, which was finally approved last year. ¬†As a result of the conditions put on the subdivision approval, strict area, height and daylight plane requirements were placed on the property limiting the envelope of the homes in a severe fashion. ¬†‚ÄúWe took the constraints put on us by the County Planners as an opportunity; ¬†rather than fighting these¬†restrictions, we used them to derive at the formal massing of the two structures. ¬†This resulted in an interesting Parti which made each house unique in its own way and responsive to its immediate surrounding while in dialogue with the other!‚ÄĚ ¬†Says Mark Vaghei, AIA.

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The subdivision layout resulted in two distinct lots, one is the front facing Bishop Lane and the other essentially a Flag Lot in the back but enjoying the views of the creek.  The issues of privacy and views became of paramount importance in planning the new homes.  Additionally , there were daylight set back planes, FAR and height restrictions that had to be adhered to.  What made things more interesting was an existing mature tree at the north-east corner of the front house which had to be preserved.  Front house was allowed to be a maximum of 2,600 SF  and the back house only 2,000 SF per the final subdivision map.  The final scheme called for a four bedrooms 4.5 bath front house and a four bedroom 3.5 bath back house.

The Client was very environmentally conscious and the County enforced strict Green Measures on the project.  This obviously resulted in an early awareness of passive solar issues in planning for the homes.  Large expanses of glass were use on the southern facades with use of overhang eyebrows and sunscreens to both allow for warm winter sun penetration while mitigating the effects of direct sunlight.  Recyclable materials are being used throughout both homes.  A Fiber Cement Panel (FCP) Rainscreen system was introduced into the facade to both reduce the weight on the structure and assist in energy efficiency and moisture protection.  Both homes make use of standing seam metal roofing and Aluminum storefront window and door systems to keep the budget in check.   All Hardscape in the site was eliminated in favor of  decompose granite driveways and walkways to reduce urban run-off and stay true to the semi-rural nature of the surrounding.camera 02

Construction is scheduled for another 6-7 months with completion for mid to late summer of 2013.  For more pictures of the Bishop 1+1 residence and other work by atelier V: architecture, please go to : www.atelierv.com    /projects/residential/Bishop 1+1 residence

For additional construction progress photos please go to: www.atelierv.com  /work in progress/Bishop 1+1


Elise McCurley, Job Captain


Saabco Consulting, Inc.

Site PlanPlan Front House


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