Arts and Crafts Estate

Los Gatos, CA

The design brief for this dated 1950s ranch house was to expand and completely remake it as a grand Arts and Crafts estate house. Most of the original foundation and exterior walls were retained in the remake but little evidence of the original house can be found. We made use of dramatic roof lines, period architectural details, and generous porches to create the feel and look of a house from the 1920s.

As this house is located in an area with hot summers, particular attention was paid to passive cooling techniques that would minimize the energy bills for air conditioning. The house has a large, open attic, which is vented through generous gable end vents–an element inspired by homes of the Arts and Crafts era. The large west-facing front porch protects the front rooms from the afternoon sun as much as it functions as an outdoor entertaining space and covered entry to the home. A similar porch on the east side protects the kitchen doors from the morning sun while providing an outdoor dining area. Where the house lacks porches, oversized roof overhangs and a trellis are carefully detailed to provide full protection from the sun. To protect the kitchen windows, we designed a 6-foot-deep gable-end overhang to protect the upper windows, and a trellis that fully protects the lower set of windows.

In keeping with the pattern prevelant in the 1920s, a garage/guest house was added in the back corner. Designed to match the main house, this accessory building is scaled down so as not to compete with the main residence.


Michael McKay
Staff Architect:
Patricia Carpentieri

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