River House

Fresno, California

The owners, a young couple with two children, have contemplated building a special family home for years.  The site they have chosen is a 20-acre flat agricultural parcel of almond orchards that overlooks the San Joaquin River in Fresno, California.  The site is accessed by a new private road that winds through the almond trees, arriving at an entrance courtyard on the north edge of the orchard, adjacent to the river

The plan is a simple T, with a wing that runs south to north containing the garage and all of the service spaces, and a two-story east to west bar that includes all of the public living spaces on the lower level and all of the family private spaces on the upper level.  A linear circulation spine runs along the south edge of the bar so that all living spaces enjoy beautiful views of the river.  A swimming pool and pool house structure are located to the east of the main house, further stretching the linearity of the architectural composition.  The design includes floor to ceiling glazing in most living spaces, deep roof overhangs to provide shade protection from the extreme Central Valley heat, and generous new landscaping that ties together the agricultural qualities of the site with the residential character of this riverfront home.