This ultra-contemporary California project, the creation of the award-winning architectural firm of M•Designs Architects and a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur, is an example of architectural design and engineering at the forefront of smart, sustainable living in the 21st century.
The home is owned by Malika Junaid, principal at M•Designs, and Junaid Qurashi, a tech entrepreneur and engineer, and is situated in a scenic location overlooking the San Francisco Bay and northern Silicon Valley in Los Altos Hills, CA.
The soaring ceilings of the great room of this 9,000-plus square foot new home is where every aspect of modern living can be experienced. And at the center of the great room is a circular, glass-floored dining area cantilevered over a 60-foot long indoor swimming pool. The floor of the indoor pool is made of miniature mosaic tile, inspired by Michelangelo’s “Hand of God and Adam” in the Sistine Chapel.
The north-facing front façade of the great room has a Schweiss Doors hydraulic door measuring 23 feet tall by 36-feet, 7 inches wide. The glass curtain walled-door allows the entire façade of the home to be opened like an aircraft hangar door. The moving wall is equipped with electric photo eye sensors and a door base safety edge.
“The beauty of this is the sun never hits the door and the view overlooks the bay so you always have shade without the sun in your eyes,” Junaid says. “It’s just magical when the door opens up. We decided on a hydraulic door because we needed nearly a 90-degree opening for an unobstructed view and the wall to simply disappear. When the door is open, the majestic oak trees and breathtaking bay area views make the indoors an outdoor living experience.”
Triple glass from Viracon was used on the door, adding approximately 10,000 pounds to the frame. It’s double pane where one side is laminated and the other side is tempered on the bottom in case the glass would ever break. The door was installed by ABS Builders of Maxwell, CA, and MB Construction of Hayward, CA.
“When we decided to do this feature, we looked into different companies, but at the end settled on Schweiss Doors,” Junaid says. “Brent and the Schweiss team were extremely helpful throughout the process. It was a complex project; a great deal of credit goes to Schweiss engineers and Hohback Lewin Engineers of Palo Alto, CA, to help us achieve our design vision.”
Being in the Silicon Valley, this residence is the epitome of the next generation smart home automation and offers a state-of-the-art audio/visual experience. The residence also takes sustainable living to the next level. Green elements include highly efficient aluminum floor heating, rainwater harvesting, gray water recycling, solar photovoltaic panels, dehumidification and a fresh-air circulation system for optimal health and comfort for the family. Interior circulation is achieved through the use of stainless steel staircases, glass bridges and a Jetson's-style clear vacuum elevator.
After two years of construction, the home was featured in the Silicon Valley Modern Home Tour and is being submitted for various architectural awards.