Contemporary Update to Midcentury Modern House Features Two Floating Volumes

Two timber-clad rectilinear wings expand a midcentury modern ranch house in Menlo Park, California, remaining true to the classic minimalist feel of the original structure while adding a few contemporary touches. Ball House by Terry & Terry Architecture separates the private bedrooms from the common spaces by putting them in diverging, floating volumes that stretch into the backyard toward the garden.

The fissure between the two new volumes is enclosed with curving glass panels, creating a little atrium that draws the garden into the home. On the front end of the common wing, the roof cantilevers out over asphalt to create a new carport, while on the other, an elevated terrace steps down to the lawn.

Glazing on the ends of each new wing creates a telescopic effect as the structures themselves stretch out to meet the greenery. Warm wood cladding continues from the interior floors, walls and ceilings to the exterior surfaces, fostering a sense of continuity that puts the focus on the clean lines of the home.

The small original ranch house was altered to contain a music room, two bedrooms and a bathroom, with a new steel bay window seat looking out toward the street. “Conceived for a retired couple, the open and accessible design integrates the living space with the rear garden to create a well-lit domestic extension,” say the architects.

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