When I first sat down with the design team to review the concept plans, I was struck by the incredible beauty of the site, and the difficulty in building a house on such a steep lot. The concept of the massive walls to take up much of the elevation made me think of the battered seawalls in ancient cities like Trani on the Adriatic coast of Italy. I sketched out large hand pitched blocks of stone in a rough ashlar coursing, which became the grounding element for the house and the garden. The walls rise over 30 feet from street level stepping back in terraces, we designed our coursing to have massive blocks at the foot of the wall gradually getting smaller in stone sizes to meld into a more human scale at the parapet walls that enclose the main pool terrace. We chose a warm buff sandstone, Camel Sandstone, that we had just begun harvesting from a quarry that I developed in central China. Working with Stephen Schubel, Ken Catton and Eric Blasen, the base color of the stone became the pallet that helped develop colors that blend so well throughout the project. We offset the hand hewn finish and buff colors of the walls with a warm cream colored limestone from Verona Italy, Palladio Stone, named for the famous Italian architect who used this stone in his classical villas. We finished the stone in antique brushed finish, giving a refined texture that was wonderful in bare feet. Finally we turned to the roof tile, this needed to have a distinct color and quality which I knew we could achieve by turning to the Fornace’s in Umbria Italy, where the clay has a natural warm peach color and they still make the tiles in the traditional hand method. The client and the design team where most patient in allowing us to go far afield to gather these rich elements together, and in allowing us to work actively in developing the details such as the wonderful solid stone ocular window surrounds, solid Tuscan columns and fireplace surrounds, the solid stone stove alcove in the kitchen, and the stone mosaic “door mat” at the entry. Each stone hand tooled, coupled with rich colors and playful details make this a stunning example of what a committed owner and a talented team can accomplish.
Camel Sandstone: Walls, columns, surrounds, window & door frames.
Palladio Stone: Interior and exterior floors & terraces, pool & spa surround
Umbrian Terra Cotta: Hand made roof tiles
Eugenio Arcangeli: Project Manager
Edward Westbrook: Principal Overseas Sourcing
Chen Ragen LLC: China Stone Management
Jade Lam: Euro Stone & Terra Cotta Manager
|Baldauf, Catton, Von Eckartsberg Architects||http://www.bcvarch.com/houses_and_hospitality/live/new_live/|
|Blasen Landscape Architecture||http://www.blasengardens.com/|
The Camel Sandstone quarry in central China was developed with our overseas partners, Chen Ragen LLC. The stone is a warm buff with gray undertones and cream highlights. It carves and works well and has wonderful soft aspect that lends itself to the mediterranean pallet.
Hand finishing each stone block at the quarry gives the finished work a timeless look that only the human hand can impart.
Camel Sandstone rough ashlar blocks with hand pitched faces, the pattern scales from large blocks to a more human scale at the pool parapet walls. The battered walls invoke the feeling of ancient seawalls.
The Palladio quarry outside of Verona Italy, is a “Cava” or underground quarry that has been worked for centuries. The quarry caves are literally sculptures in themselves, and they are one of my favorite places to visit and sketch. The stone was used by the famous Italian architect in his work in and around Vicenza. The stone is a soft cream colored limestone with gold highlights, rich with shells and fossils it takes a brushed finish beautifully and makes wonderful floors to walk on.
Master Samples are one of the most important parts of our process, making sure that pallet of Legacy Materials that our clients choose is exactly what they receive is key to our promise. QuarryHouse managers inspect every order during the quarrying and fabrication process, constantly checking the progress against the Master Samples.
In Umbria they still make terra cotta roof tiles by hand, using the local clay they make tiles that have a warm peach color that tied in so well with the pallet. As in stone, hand thrown terracotta has the same timeless look.
The finished tiles with our Master Sample, beutiful. I often encourage clients to consider a handmade original versus buying reclaimed antique tiles, given just a few years on their roof it will seem as if it has been there for generations.
All the elements together, the lush flowers spilling over the rough hewn walls, the rich plaster of the house offset by the stone columns and surrounds, makes you feel as if you just stepped into a Tuscan garden.
The Palladio Stone paving blending into the Camel Sandstone walls, looking out to the San Francisco Bay
Eric and Silvina Blasen’s playful details that we incorporated into the stonework really bring the garden to life.
Ken Catton’s architecture blended with Stephen Schubel’s lush interior design and Eric & Silvina Blasen’s gardens make the terraces seem like outdoor rooms.
Carving the fireplace surround out of solid stone blocks gives it a solid grounded look.
The kitchen stove surround was carved from massive blocks of Camel Sandstone, carved and finished by hand. The cornice pieces where over six feet long, weighing hundreds of pounds. We take pride in our ability to achieve stunning results with challenging engineering.
Palladio stone floors with the solid carved Camel Sandstone columns on the balcony blend into the warm plaster and decor colors.
The ocular window surrounds were carved from solid blocks of Camel Sandstone matching the finish on the door surrounds.
We worked with the design team on many details and one of my favorites is the front “doormat” made from leftover Camel Sandstone that we cut into small mosaic herringbone that seems to be a stone rug. The entry court brings all of the elements together and invites you into this wonderful home.