The Braeburn project is an addition to an existing ranch-style residence in a suburban neighborhood built in the 1960s. The Owner’s program required the expansion of the single-story house with a larger living area for entertaining, bonus room, and exterior courtyard entry inspired by the Mid-century Modern Architecture movement. Alder James proposed a light touch on the existing house, focusing the architectural language of minimal clean lines on the front addition for maximum effect to elegantly redefine the street frontage. A horizontal slatted redwood fence encloses an expanded private courtyard conceptualized as an exterior bonus room. The courtyard funnels guests to the main entry under a new semi-enclosed natural wood trellis. Due to site constraints, the new master bedroom was required to face the street, presenting privacy concerns. Screening is provided in front of the master bedroom’s large window box with casement window from the slatted wood fence and a small feature tree. This configuration allows natural daylight and air to flood the bedroom with visual access to a natural scene while providing the delicate privacy required. Alder James feels strongly about the importance of connecting a structure with the natural environment. The landscape has been conceptualized as a natural configuration with drought tolerant harmonious plantings and a dry creek running the length of the front yard. The addition is integrated into this landscape through the use of screening and ground coverings that enhance the transition from outside to inside. Taking advantage of Southern California’s mild climate, the addition is designed to unfold into the landscape, inviting residents and guests to open the doors and windows and flow freely between shelter and open air.

Matt Gummow