Bay Area Architects Share the Hottest High-End Features from Their Custom Projects



Built this year, this nearly 11,000 square-foot residence in Los Altos Hills is on the market with the DeLeon Realty Team for $18 million.While natural light, views and space will always be the ultimate luxuries, cutting-edge building products and technologies can be just as impressive in the right hands. We spoke to leading Bay Area architects and developers about the hottest high-end features they are specifying for their custom projects.

To achieve maximum curb appeal, architects often design impressively scaled doors. Taking the grand entrance to the next level, they are now specifying offset pivot doors—oversized doors that pivot on an axis instead of hinges—to great dramatic effect. Victor Mezhvinsky, founder of MT Development, recently installed a state-of-the-art Oikos offset pivot door at a Glen Park residence. Swatt | Miers architects also recently designed a custom, ever-so-slightly translucent glass pivot door to grace the entrance of a Portola Valley Home. For even greater wow factor, Mezhvinsky has also installed several retractable glass roofs, including an enormous 16-by-10-foot skylight in a Cow Hollow home (And since skylights don’t count towards residential height limitations—they can sit two feet above the ceiling—they allow for more interior space).

Four-by-four-foot tiles were employed by architect Carrie Bernstein in a Berkeley home.While walls of sliding glass have become de rigueur in modern settings, there are innovative new options. To bring a sense of transparency to a house in Pacific Heights, Jensen Architects (the firm responsible for the design of new arts center Minnesota Street Project) turned to Swiss company Vitrocsa, who makes the most minimalist sliding doors in the industry. Notes principal Frank Merritt: “It’s amazing the size of glass you get with such little frame.”

Sophisticated surfaces are another opportunity to give a home polish. Developer Melvin Vaughn of Vaughn House recently installed a Mataverde Eurotec decking system at a new estate in the Los Altos Hills (listed for $18 million with DeLeon Realty). The ipe-wood boards attach to metal rails via hidden clips, so there are no screws to mar the deck surface.  New technology is also driving large-scale tile; architect Cary Bernstein is using large-format porcelain tile in a Berkeley home—she chose a four-by-four-foot tile with a subtle raised texture from the Dechirer line by Patricia Urquiola for Mutina.

Four-by-four-foot tiles were employed by architect Carrie Berstein in a Berkeley home.A less-glamorous­—but extremely significant—home feature is the heating and cooling system. “We’ve found that traditional HVAC systems are often incompatible with the clean, thin lines of modern architecture, and our clients are also concerned with the allergens that they distribute,” says architect Mark English. He is finishing up one of the first homes in the area where both heating and cooling are handled through a hydronic system. While hydronic heating systems that run hot water through pipes in the floor are common, the Atherton estate’s Daikin Altherma hydronic system also uses chilled water for cooling. It manages 10 separate zones in the home so that each area can have its own temperature setting—a luxury that can’t be seen but can certainly be appreciated.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Property of Note

Edit Module
80 Brookwood Drive, Briarcliff Manor, NY
Architecture and setting blend to stunning effect at this sensational Colonial featuring panoramic views of the Hudson River. Convenient to Manhattan, the renovated 5-BR residence offers spectacular living spaces perfectly designed for today’s lifestyle. Expansive formal rooms opening to grand terraces, a sparkling pool, outdoor kitchen and an entire lower level devoted to fun are ideal for entertaining. Especially alluring is the inviting front porch, the perfect spot to enjoy the spectacular sunsets and water views.



View more details about 80 Brookwood Drive

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Property of Note

6 Bluewater Lane, Westport, CT
Exquisite Westport Compo Beach residence in the Bluewater Association offers a unique and masterfully executed blend of custom elegance with sophisticated architectural details for an extraordinary LI Sound waterfront experience. Enjoy endless waterviews from the abundance of floor to ceiling windows, French doors and balconies which span the entire length of the house and open to expansive outdoor spaces with terraces, lawns, an al fresco kitchen and a wrap-around infinity pool with spa.



View more details about 6 Bluewater Lane, Westport, CT

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Property of Note

235 McCagg Road, Kinderhook, NY
Just like a fine Swiss watch, this exceptional property is masterfully designed, precisely constructed, and meticulously cared for. Neatly nestled on 95 acres of rolling fields and woodlands, architect Clark and Green created a structure of glass, stone, and wood, which is elegant, warm, and lighthearted. Absolute privacy, with stunning views and pristine landscaping create a country retreat with a zen like atmosphere. Life will be that much sweeter enjoying the bounty of the Hudson Valley from this extraordinary property.



View more details about 235 McCagg Road

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Property of Note

12 Sunnyside Lane, Westport, CT
This sublime Colonial captivates with its New England charm and dazzling 2.7-acre setting featuring beautiful plantings, a formal English garden and bluestone pool. Offering approximately 8600fs of living space, the home hosts spectacular formal rooms, a paneled library, recreation room with a projector screen, sunroom, 6 bedrooms and 7.5 baths. Front and back patios add further allure to this ADA-compliant home which also offers double railings on stairs as well as elevator service to all 3 floors.



View more details about 12 Sunnyside Lane
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags