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The Next Phase: Renovation of a Mid-Century Silicon Valley Ranch House

  • PROJECT NAME Silicon Valley House
  • LOCATION Menlo Park
  • FIRM Terry & Terry Architecture
  • SQ. FT. 1,920 SQF
Take a look. It's hard to de­cipher what the driving force behind the renovation of this mid-century Silicon Valley ranch might be. More space? A better indoor-outdoor connection? A style update? All true.


However, the real motive behind Terry & Terry Architecture's 1,000-square-foot addition, plus a reordering of the original 920 square feet, was the future mobility concerns of the owners, a retired couple in Menlo Park, California. "We designed for 10 years from now," Ivan Terry explains.


Extending rearward, the new component comprises two asymmetrical wings. The smaller one is the master suite; the larger one is an open living-dining-kitchen space. Since two long volumes, side by side, could potentially be dark, an angular sliver of outdoor space "inserts light in the middle" younger brother Alexander Terry adds.


Both wings are essentially glass boxes with generous overhangs in ipe. Likewise ipe are the adjacent carport's roof and the deck. As for the latter, a portion ramps gently downward for easy access to the garden.


Floorboards in a wood that resembles ipe are one reason that the public and bedroom wings appear as continuations of the outside. Sliding doors in the glass walls make that impression a reality.


Mobility enhancement comes into play in the kitchen-but subtly. "Work surfaces are slightly lower, and the configu­ration around the island is free-flowing," Ivan Terry remarks. Cabinets in cobalt-blue plastic laminate, counters in pale gray quartz composite, and appliances in stainless steel would be sought-after in any circumstance, at any age.
Same goes for furniture. The Terrys combined custom steel dining and cocktail tables with seating by Piero Lissoni and Le Corbusier.