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El Cerrito House
Hillsborough, CA

The definitive idea behind this project was to create a modest country house that was traditional in outward appearance yet minimalist from within. The harmonious scale, thick wall massing and the attention to architectural detail are reminiscent of the enduring quality and beauty of European homes built long ago.

It features a custom-built Spanish Colonial- inspired house that is characterized by an L-plan, low-pitched mission clay tile roofs, exposed wood rafter tails, broad expanses of thick white-washed stucco walls with recessed-in French patio doors and casement windows; and surrounded by native California oaks, boxwood hedges, French lavender, Mexican bush sage, and rosemary that are often found in Mediterranean landscapes.

An emphasis was placed on visually experiencing the weight of the exposed ceiling timbers and the thick wall massing between the light, airy spaces. A simple and elegant material palette, which consists of white plastered walls, timber beams, wide plank white oak floors, and pale travertine used for wash basins and bath tile flooring, was chosen to articulate the fine balance between clean, simple lines and Old World touches.

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