Rashid Residence

Los Altos, California

Being of Indian heritage with strong generational family ties, the owners had to consider not only their needs but also the cultural requirements of their parents when designing their dream home. The resulting 6,800 square-foot house includes ample space for informal family living while taking into consideration the ancient Indian theory of Vaastu Shastra, an architectural doctrine that guides the location of spaces within a building based on the perceived effects of various natural forces.

The extended H-shaped plan divides the rectangular one-acre site into two distinct outdoor zones: a public entry court to the east facing the street, and a private patio on the west that overlooks the pool, lawn and gardens. The building fa├žade reflects this distinction; the east side is predominantly opaque for privacy while the west is largely transparent, with large expanses of sliding glass doors that seamlessly connect to the outdoors.

The kitchen, dining and living rooms occupy the center of the H, and are designed as one continuous volume. Despite their connection in plan, different qualities of space are created by strategic use of different wall materials and ceiling heights.

All the family's bedrooms are located on the upper level, with the master and children's rooms separated from the guest room by a long sky-lit hallway overlooking the double-height living space. A second master suite was created on the ground floor for extended visits by the owner's parents.