Published on November 8, 2009
Section Architecture / Interior Design
Project Description by Architecture Firm FREELON
Rantilla Residence by Michael Rantilla The design concept of this private home literally springs upward from the pristine wooded site. Unbuildable as a spec home property, the unique form of the building is a literal response to the significant site challenges. Wedged between zoning setbacks, a stream buffer and a steep slope, the program massing was squeezed vertically into a three story scheme elevated above the uninterrupted ground plane flowing beneath. Each floor level is expressed as a discrete rectangular volume clad in a different material and spun radially from a 40 foot tall, 18 inch thick solid concrete shear wall. This articulation of the volumes creates a wide variety of habitable outdoor spaces. The lowest level ultimately spills onto a large teak deck beneath the house, which then engages the forest via a stepped concrete pyramid. Fully cantilevered stair treads project from the concrete shear wall and shift from aluminum to maple to ipe, constantly varying the sound and feel of each staircase while allowing light and views to pass through. Vertical circulation always maintains a close connection to the diagrammatic and structural centroid of the building.