Rietveld says the front door was positioned at the side of the house, to further take advantage of the potential for views across the front. With a path that steps up beside landscaped planters and bridges a reflection pool, this was also a way to create a sense of arrival.
To enhance the visual flow and the circulation through the house, the architect introduced a distinctive curved wall that wraps around the interior, starting at the entry.
"The curved element helps with the traffic flow, and opens up the interior to the view, in a very natural way."
To further enhance the indoor-outdoor link, large sliding doors open to an alfresco living area with an outdoor kitchen on the north side of the house. This seating area is contained beneath a low roof, which provides intimacy. But at one side the space soars to form a double-height volume that reinforces the sense of transparency and connection the alfresco area can be glimpsed from the family room on the floor above.
"With its large planter boxes, the alfresco living area feels like an outdoor area on the ground floor, but of course, this entire floor is elevated," says Rietveld.
The seamless flow of the indoor and outdoor living areas is helped by the use of the same limestone tile flooring throughout, and by the consistent, contemporary palette of steel, glass and wood. But different areas within the overall space, including the kitchen, dining and living areas, are clearly defined by suspended or coffered ceilings.
Leon House, who designed the kitchen in conjunction with Spago Interiors and the owners, specified a mix of chestnut wood veneer and sleek, lacquered cabinets.