Cheng-Reinganum House

Orinda, California

The Cheng-Reinganum House is located at the top of a beautiful hillside, surrounded by mature oak, pine, and sycamore trees. Views of the rolling hills and Mount Diablo beyond are to the south and east. The owners, a family with children close to college age, embarked on this project to create a new home that reflects their new lifestyle – with single-level open planning, seamless connections to the outdoors, space for the children to call "home" when they return from college, and a lower level guest suite for visiting parents.

The design strategy involved creating the home over the footprint of the pre-existing building, using ninety percent of the existing foundations for economy. Higher ceilings and plenty of daylight were a must. Family living is on the upper level, while the garage and a small guest suite are located on a lower level.

The plan is based on three wings set at 105,120 and 135 degrees apart from each other. The east wing includes the living and dining spaces; the south wing includes the kitchen and family room; and the west wing includes the master suite. All major spaces, including bedrooms, have direct access to the outdoors. Floor-to-ceiling glazing provides strong indoor-outdoor connections, while carefully placed clerestory windows serve to infuse the home with dappled light from above, affording views of sky and treetops.