San Vicente by McClean Design is located on a busy street in California, USA and to reduce the impact of cars driving by as well as other city noises, the architects designed the home to be separated from the street by high gates and tall landscaped elements. The high gates are flanked on either side by a curving glass louvered wall that buffers sounds while still allowing natural light to pass through. Additionally the architects designed a central pathway that steps up and over an infinity pool that runs the length of the home before meeting up with a stonewall that spews forth a waterfall, creating a relaxing and ambient atmosphere.
The curved glass wall has a concrete header, creating the appearance that this is in fact the entry to the home itself, its only once you pass through the central gate that the courtyard makes its presence known.
In the evenings, dramatic uplighting highlights each section within the glass walls while downlighting marks the entrance to the 3-car garage.
As you pass through the entry gate it becomes even clearer that this is a special place.
The courtyard behind the glass louvers is an oasis of water and geometric detail as well as a few specimen trees to visually create a connection with the landscape beyond.
This connection to the landscape beyond the property boundaries is most important from the vantage point of the home itself.
The stairs that lead up and over the infinity edge pool have central lights embedded in the risers for safety but for the most part it is the lights within the home itself that flood the space as the sun disappears at night, especially those lights from the formal dining and living rooms that flank either side of the entry. These lights perform double duty as they reflect and refract from the water’s surface.
The foyer has a stunning view of the courtyard from its double volume glazings and while the glazings are not a solid expanse of glass, the horizontal and vertical lines created by the architectural details are a dramatic geometric addition to the overall composition.
The formal living room to the left of the entry is a soft palette of pale stones and off whites with a touch of black and white photography that – combined with the fire and water elements – is a relaxing contemporary space that belies the hectic street beyond the courtyard.
The formal dining room on the right of the entry is also neutral but features a cooler grey palette within its area rug and furnishings and accessories. This dusky setting creates an evening palette that is played up with the burst of light globes within the dining pendant, reminiscent of the night sky.
While the formal dining and living rooms are on either side of the entry, the family room is straight ahead, overlooking both the main entrance and the backyard. Here, what appears to be a beautiful panoramic photograph over the fireplace is actually the TV hidden in plain sight.
San Vicente is an L shaped home to take advantage of the expansive backyard and with views overlooking the landscaped oasis of calming green, the peaceful atmosphere the clients wanted is successfully continued.
The family room is located next to the kitchen and a family eating area, both of which overlook the backyard pool and outdoor living area.
the kitchen has an L shaped island which allows the bar seating to face towards the backyard pool while the island prep space faces towards the family room – and the TV mounted over the fireplace.
Both the a sink and the cooktop are located in the island while a second sink overlooks the side garden. The combination of charcoal cabinets against the cream limestone flooring is a beautiful contrast of warm and cold tones and the added touch of a wood bar area on the island adds just enough of a contrast to the other two materials to keep the space visually alive and interesting.
The contemporary squared off faucet used for the kitchen sinks continues the geometric drama created throughout the home.
The eating area of the kitchen is centred within its own private niche overlooking the outdoor lounge area as well as the backyard pool. The shades of charcoal upholstery are used both inside and outside to create a cohesive flow.
On the other side of the pool is a small guest house completely outfitted with its own gourmet kitchen, dining and living rooms as well as bedrooms.
With a pool separating the two buildings, the guesthouse maintains its privacy, as do the master suite and four other bedrooms on the upper level of the main house. The upper level also contains a 2nd family room, an art room and a gym while the downstairs also has a media room and office.
Upstairs the cream limestone flooring is replaced with a pale wood planking but the same linear stones are used on the master suite fireplace wall. The master suite does not overlook the backyard but opens up to its own private deck overlooking the front of the house.
The closet within the master suite is a room all to itself and features an island with accessory storage beneath a glass top – WOW.
As with the master closet, the ensuite is large and spacious with everything the homeowners could want in their own personal spa bath retreat from a luxury soaker tub and sculptural floor mounted faucet to a walk through rain shower – and check out the trough sink on top of the vanity, again WOW.
The homeowners have 3 daughters and each daughter has their own bedroom that opens up to a terrace overlooking the backyard.