Gentry Design - Summer 2009

MID-CENTURY MODERN REIMAGINED

0000-00-00 00:00:00

In the canon of Bay Area design greats, a few names stand out, including Bernard Maybeck, Willis Polk, Thomas Church, Joseph Esherick, and William Wurster. These influential architects shaped the Northern California landscape, literally and figuratively, for a major portion of the 20th century. Each man had his own unique style, but arguably the one whose work became the most pervasive was Wurster. He was enamored with the burgeoning International Style embraced by European architects like Le Corbusier and Mies Van der Rohe. It was a type of clean-lined modernism that firmly put the emphasis of a structure on its surroundings. Deceptively simple details led to voluminous open spaces and massive glass windows drawing attention to the landscape outside. In 1928, Wurster created the prototypical California ranchstyle home in Scotts Valley. For better or worse, it was a structure that was copied, reinvented, and replicated on an industrial scale post-World War II. In the mass production process, Wurster’s finely tuned design sensibilities were often lost, but one clear set of elements resonated. His low-slung homes with abundant windows and deep eves allowed for structures that were harmonious with the surrounding landscape and kept relatively cool in summer and warm in winter. One of Wurster’s projects rests on a particularly magnificent bit of land in Woodside. Two-story windows from the home’s great room focus on several acres of manicured gardens and the spectacular foothills beyond. Wurster was hired to create a home on this wonderful plot that would sit beside a turn-of-thecentury adobe. He gracefully connected the two structures with an outdoor breezeway. Fast forward 60-odd years and both structures were still standing and functioning when a young family purchased the land. Instead of tearing the two buildings down, which after the ravages of time might have been tempting, they chose to embrace the beauty and history of the unique structures and assembled a team of superior craftsmen to reinvigorate them with meticulous attention to their original California vernacular. Stan Goldberg, the Woodside-based contractor brought onone clear set of elements resonated. His low-slung homes with abundant windows and deep eves allowed for structures that were harmonious with the surrounding landscape and kept relatively cool in summer and warm in winter. One of Wurster’s projects rests on a particularly magnificent bit of land in Woodside. Two-story windows from the home’s great room focus on several acres of manicured gardens and the spectacular foothills beyond. Wurster was hired to create a home on this wonderful plot that would sit beside a turn-of-thecentury adobe. He gracefully connected the two structures with an outdoor breezeway. Fast forward 60-odd years and both structures were still standing and functioning when a young family purchased the land. Instead of tearing the two buildings down, which after the ravages of time might have been tempting, they chose to embrace the beauty and history of the unique structures and assembled a team of superior craftsmen to reinvigorate them with meticulous attention to their original California vernacular. Stan Goldberg, the Woodside-based contractor brought onone clear set of elements resonated. His low-slung homes with abundant windows and deep eves allowed for structures that were harmonious with the surrounding landscape and kept relatively cool in summer and warm in winter. One of Wurster’s projects rests on a particularly magnificent bit of land in Woodside. Two-story windows from the home’s great room focus on several acres of manicured gardens and the spectacular foothills beyond. Wurster was hired to create a home on this wonderful plot that would sit beside a turn-of-thecentury adobe. He gracefully connected the two structures with an outdoor breezeway. Fast forward 60-odd years and both structures were still standing and functioning when a young family purchased the land. Instead of tearing the two buildings down, which after the ravages of time might have been tempting, they chose to embrace the beauty and history of the unique structures and assembled a team of superior craftsmen to reinvigorate them with meticulous attention to their original California vernacular. Stan Goldberg, the Woodside-based contractor brought onone clear set of elements resonated. His low-slung homes with abundant windows and deep eves allowed for structures that were harmonious with the surrounding landscape and kept relatively cool in summer and warm in winter. One of Wurster’s projects rests on a particularly magnificent bit of land in Woodside. Two-story windows from the home’s great room focus on several acres of manicured gardens and the spectacular foothills beyond. Wurster was hired to create a home on this wonderful plot that would sit beside a turn-of-thecentury adobe. He gracefully connected the two structures with an outdoor breezeway. Fast forward 60-odd years and both structures were still standing and functioning when a young family purchased the land. Instead of tearing the two buildings down, which after the ravages of time might have been tempting, they chose to embrace the beauty and history of the unique structures and assembled a team of superior craftsmen to reinvigorate them with meticulous attention to their original California vernacular. Stan Goldberg, the Woodside-based contractor brought onone clear set of elements resonated. His low-slung homes with abundant windows and deep eves allowed for structures that were harmonious with the surrounding landscape and kept relatively cool in summer and warm in winter. One of Wurster’s projects rests on a particularly magnificent bit of land in Woodside. Two-story windows from the home’s great room focus on several acres of manicured gardens and the spectacular foothills beyond. Wurster was hired to create a home on this wonderful plot that would sit beside a turn-of-thecentury adobe. He gracefully connected the two structures with an outdoor breezeway. Fast forward 60-odd years and both structures were still standing and functioning when a young family purchased the land. Instead of tearing the two buildings down, which after the ravages of time might have been tempting, they chose to embrace the beauty and history of the unique structures and assembled a team of superior craftsmen to reinvigorate them with meticulous attention to their original California vernacular. Stan Goldberg, the Woodside-based contractor brought on board for this unique project, immediately saw its potential. Goldberg, whose career path began with a master’s degree in psychology, found his true calling in woodworking. What started out as a hobby for him blossomed into a successful cabinetry business. The next logical evolution of Goldberg’s skills was custom home building—something he has been passionate about for 25 years. For this project, Goldberg worked in concert with award-winning San Francisco architect Ian Moller and the über-talented San Francisco interior designer Charles DeLisle. “The original footprints of the two homes were kept intact,” notes Goldberg, “but the breezeway was incorporated into the new structure, making for one large residence.” The floor was lifted, the roof was raised, a few walls changed, and all systems replaced, but the essence of the homes was maintained. At the center of the home is a modest front door flanked by two walls of windows. Guests immediately step down into a casual living room that DeLisle has filled with a combination of classic mid-century furniture and custom pieces made to his specifications. A formal dining room flows into a kitchen and adjoining family room with a sparkling combination of custom tiles and terrazzo. This entire series of rooms overlooks the garden. The thread through the spaces is a striking combination of concrete flooring and exquisite wood paneling. Goldberg’s love of fine woodwork comes through when he discusses the vertical grain cedar walls that perfectly align with the floor. “People don’t realize that trim and moldings were invented because they make home building easier,” he notes. “They cosmetically hide a variety of mistakes and uneven surfaces.” The accuracy required to seamlessly join dissimilar surfaces and materials is almost akin to the painstaking effort required to cut diamonds. Extraordinary precision is required to pull off something that, in the end, looks effortless. “That finishing is what I like to pay attention to,” says Goldberg. “Many people can frame, but finishing is an art.” Art indeed. The resulting home is a masterpiece in subtlety— a string of spaces that embrace light and shadow with a soothing ease. One can imagine that Wurster would heartily approve. STEFANIE LINGLE BEASLEY

Published by 18 Media . View All Articles.

This page can be found at http://mydigimag.rrd.com/article/MID-CENTURY+MODERN+REIMAGINED/194678/19959/article.html.