Terrace House by Oculus Architecture and Design

Situated the San Meteo Hills, California, this spacious contemporary residence has been recently completed by Oculus Architecture and Design.


A new home sited on the edge of a wooded bluff in a quiet neighborhood of the San Mateo hills. The site provides sweeping vistas of the San Francisco Bay, including a view of San Francisco to the north and the East Bay hills as they range south. Early program discussions established a mandate for site sensitivity and topographic integration, with a desire for the home to organically grow out of the terrain while being rooted in the descending hillside. As a result, the home appears diminutive and secluded from the street as it is blanketed by a rolling green roof that berms over most of the upper level. Hints of the views beyond can be glimpsed through the center of the home and around the green edges, but the magnitude of the visual drama beyond is mostly hidden from curbside. Passing through an entry court that is framed with inclining concrete arms, the downhill side of the home is revealed as a series of terraces that arc with the natural contours of the slope while providing light and outdoor access to the seemingly submerged rooms within. These curving exterior spaces are bound together by a number of steps and stairs that serve to link all outdoor areas, from a rooftop view terrace to a swimming pool that is semi-recessed into the hillside near the south property line.

Photography courtesy of Oculus Architecture and Design

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- by Matt Watts

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