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Two Gables

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Love Letter

Designed to the voiced brief of “a love letter,” Two Gables is a home for a couple entering a new phase of life, seeking change and growth for themselves and their family. The empty-nester clients aspired for a light-filled, contemporary home with dedicated living, working, and entertaining spaces—a dramatic departure from their former 19th-century Victorian residence’s density, ornateness, and cellular nature, located just two blocks away.

The design challenge was finding the balance between intimate, comfortable spaces for two that effortlessly accommodate larger gatherings of friends and family. The brief included a desire to use as few materials as possible, and, cohere to a warm gray palette to set the stage for furnishings and art curated by the owner.

Located on a one-acre wooded ravine site, the house is strategically positioned within existing trees to maximize picturesque views. Twin gabled volumes—one for sleeping and one for living—are connected by a glazed breezeway that fuses house and landscape.

The home, situated upward and slightly angled away from the street, creates an eccentric approach that delays frontal views and enhances privacy. The entry procession presents the flanking gabled volumes as solids, composed of zinc colored standing seam roofing & warm gray Accoya siding, punctuated by deeply inset windows. At the rear, a dynamic exterior, complete with extending linear gabion arms, interacts with and accesses landscaped spaces. At the gabled “living” volume, full height glazing is inset and framed by the wood cladding, accentuating the structure’s thickness. In the inset, a small, covered terrace overlooks the backyard, providing an overlook to rest and enjoy the views of the property. In contrast, the “sleeping” volume projects a quieter low-glazed bay into the serene landscape.

Once inside, the connection to the outdoors is prominent in all primary spaces. The breezeway features floor-to-ceiling glass doors and an exterior wood shell that bleeds inside on both ends. At the entry, an operable vertical wood screen provides a variety of degrees of privacy, allowing light in during the day and screening views into the home at night.

The heart of the home is the “coffee house” – a bright, casual space that connects the kitchen with expansive windows and a terrace overlooking the back garden. Here, a banquette, built-in seating, and millwork are carved into the walls’ thickness, surrounding a centered fireplace and rotating TV/message board. A double-height glass wall facing the rear yard, carefully designed to maximize sightlines, provides views from the office loft across the ravine landscape. A slatted wood ceiling with acoustic backing accentuates the height of the space and its gable form—painted white to match the walls and brighten the room.

Across the rear yard, a new pool and pool house are carefully sited to preserve the expansive views of the ravine and protect the grove of existing trees. The low-slung poolhouse complements the home’s breezeway expression, opening with two large folding window walls that blur the distinction between interior and exterior space. An Accoya trellis extends over a dining terrace to provide shade in the hot summer months.

Two Gables embraces both the clients’ needs and the principles of adaptable, sustainable, and exceptional design. And well, they love it.

Construction Manager: Power Construction
Structural Engineer: Enspect Engineering
MEP/FP Engineer: Russell Engineering, LLC
Landscape Architect: Scott Byron & Company, Inc.
Lighting Design: Lux Populi
Photography: Kendall McCaugherty, Hall + Merrick + McCaugherty Photographers