Contemporary California house with modernist influence features cantilevered wings

Modern architecture by Mark Dziewulski; contemporary house with projecting cantilevered wings, lap pool, entertaining terrace, reception room

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Cantilevered wings project out over the ridge on the triple lot. Their design helps ensure privacy from neighboring properties.
With its cantilevered wings and a pool flowing through the living spaces, this ultra-modern new home commands attention.

Modern architecture can bring innovative design responses to challenging projects, and turn convention on its head in the process.

For this project, the challenge for architect Mark Dziewulski was the need to open up the house to the extensive views, while maintaining privacy in a suburban neighborhood.

In addition, the plan needed to incorporate owner/builder Chrisa and Dean Sioukas's Mediterranean Modern design aesthetic.

"Site planning was crucial," the architect says. "By positioning the house on a ridge at one end, we could maximize the outlook over the remaining property and gain the best views of the landscape."

The architecture also had to play its part in providing privacy. Dziewulski took advantage of the gradient to create two cantilevered forms with a two-story volume behind.

"The house presents a tripartite massing, with two projecting wings closed off at the sides, almost like blinkers. This directs the eye down the property, while simultaneously screening the entertaining areas. The cantilevered forms also reinforce the sculptural qualities of the built structure in relation to the slope."

Dziewulski addressed the need for privacy at the front of the house as well. 

The house is more closed off on this elevation, yet still welcoming. Garage doors are concealed around the side of the house, with the garage wing clad in a porcelain tile with a rich, warm woodgrain patina. This wing also encloses the forecourt.

Textural contrast is provided by a limestone wall and smooth white stucco.

But it is the entry that commands attention. This also takes the form of a projecting double-height portal that reads as an extension of one of the cantilevered forms at the rear of the house.

"The entry is a glazed, open portal," says the architect. "But because the idea of a traditional door is important for a formal entry, we have incorporated a solid door that appears to float within the glass wall. There is still a real sense of openness.

"The form of the portal flows through the house, creating a large, double-height reception space before continuing out the other side."

For the owners, the living and entertaining areas were critical. They required a very flexible living space that would allow them to have intimate family gatherings. But they also wanted to be able to open everything up to host large receptions with caterers and banquet tables.

The formal entry leads directly into the main reception room, which in turn flows outdoors.

"This is a warm climate, so it was also important to provide indoor-outdoor living," says Dziewulski. "We call this the inside-outside house, as most internal rooms and amenities are replicated on the outside."

The distinction between inside and out is further blurred by a long lap pool that runs right across the rear of the house, slicing through the cantilevered wings.

"You can literally swim in and out of the forms. And with the glass doors in the formal living area peeled back from the corner, the reception room resembles a floating platform."

Family living areas are off to one side of the reception room, in the central volume. A wall clad in custom milled white oak tiles separates the two spaces, and keeps the look warm. This wood has the same look and dimensions as the porcelain tiles on the exterior the owners say it is almost impossible to distinguish between the two. Even the grout lines are aligned, so there is a strong visual connection with the entry.

The family living space, which can be closed off from the entertaining areas by sapele pocket doors, enjoys a similar outlook. Glass sliding doors open it up to the pool terrace and the view. This room also features a double-sided gas fireplace that warms and brightens the entry on the other side of the sapele wall.

The sleek Poliform kitchen, at one end of the room, has wenge wood base cabinets, glass upper cabinets and a Carrara marble island countertop. The perimeter countertop and backsplash are in stainless steel.

"This is rather like a display kitchen," says Dean Sioukas. "All the clutter is hidden away in a second kitchen immediately behind this one. And it is the second kitchen that gets used every day by the family. Because there is a wide opening with a view of the pool terrace, we never feel cut off from the action. However, pocket doors can close this space off if required when caterers are using the kitchen."

Another area of the house that enjoys a great view of the pool and landscaping is the master suite at the far end of the terrace. This is designed as a large open-plan space with a freestanding sapele wood wall in the center. Contemporary vanities are cantilevered off one side of the wall, while the headboard rests against the other side.

The owners can even step onto a narrow bridge immediately outside the bedroom door and dive straight into the pool for a few laps before breakfast.

"The pool itself extends out beyond the far end of the building, so it provides a good length for swimming," says Dziewulski.

Its appeal is further enhanced by comfortable sun loungers positioned on a floating pad a whimsical touch in this home for all seasons.

Credit list

Mark Dziewulski, Mark Dziewulski Architect (San Francisco)
Structural engineer
Neil O Anderson & Associates
River City Millwork
Porcelanosa Tavola Mogano tiles with Custom Prism Group; Tuscany Archaic limestone from Salado Quarry, purchased through Silverado Building Materials
Doors and windows
Sapele by Discovery Door; front door in bonded bronze from Forms + Surfaces
Interior wood walls
Custom milled white oak in entry and family room; sapele in master suite
WAC, Bocci, Luce Plan, Flos, Louis Poulson from Lumens.com
Home theater
B&K, Paradigm, Velodyne, Stewart Screen, Optoma projector from Liberty Bell Alarm & Home Theater, designed by owner
Mechoshade from Goodwin-Cole
Dividing wall in bedroom
Sapele wood
Countertops and backsplash
Carrara marble and stainless steel
Wolf; Bertazzoni
Sub-Zero and Gaggenau
Kitchen designer
Poliform, with owner
Cabinet company
SMG Custom Cabinets
CRC Roofing
Casa Dolce Casa Pietre 2 from Tile 2 Stone Design, installed by Northern California Tile
Advanced Heating & Air
Audiovisual equipment
Control4, Definitive Technology, Denon, Apple, Roku, Samsung, Sony from Liberty Bell Alarm & Home Theater, designed by owner
Linen in Kravat fabric by Shannon Interiors
Kitchen cabinets
Poliform and SMG Custom Cabinets
Ventilation and dishwasher

Story by: Colleen Hawkes

Photography by: Tim Maloney

07 Jun, 2015

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