Romantic Folly

Los Gatos, CA

This cabaña fulfills aesthetic as well as functional aims. Designed in the tradition of European garden follies, the structure takes its inspiration from a small Roman temple.

We designed the residence itself in the form of an English country cottage and found it appropriate to mimic the English fascination with antiquity. The temple-like structure forms the backdrop to the view over the pool from the living and dining rooms. The round window in the back wall of the temple is glazed with nine panes of amber glass and is backlit at night (and naturally backlit by day). The structure itself encloses two small changing rooms, a central covered seating space, and a trellised platform to view the pool. A zero-edge waterfall fits into the front wall of this structure and fills the pool.

Beside the pool is a large trellised outdoor living room. In this shaded retreat are provisions for cooking, and a Rumsford fireplace. (Count Rumsford designed fireplaces intended to reflect large amounts of heat. The Rumsford design is particularly well suited to outdoor fireplaces where reflected heat is more important than heating the air.)

The wood trellis will support a wisteria vine in time, and with a little luck remind one of something designed by Julia Morgan. Adding to this effect, the round amber-glass window amber is modeled after a building on the UC Berkeley campus designed by Julia Morgan.


Ernie Culp
Bonsai Builder Construction
14125 Capri Drive, Suite 8
Los Gatos, CA

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