Schwartz and Architecture (SaA)

Schwartz and Architecture (SaA)

San Francisco, CA


Overlook Guest House

Overlook: to fail to notice
Overlook: a commanding position or view 
Overlook: to care for 

Despite an extremely steep, almost undevelopable wooded site, the Overlook Guest House strategically creates a new fully accessible indoor/outdoor dwelling unit that allows an aging family member to remain close by and at home. 

To maintain the ease of access, the new 775 square foot home incorporates the driveway approach and garage into the formal entry sequence, transitioning fluidly to a cantilevered deck at the front door with spectacular views across Silicon Valley. Given the site’s dramatic slope, this entry terrace serves also as the only viable outdoor open space for the home. A large oval oculus cut out of this covered zone marks the entry as well as the path of the sun over the course of the day, a kind of ever-changing sun dial for a resident with limited mobility. The plan is simple; a large living space modulated carefully with built in cabinetry and en suite bedrooms connected by a large accessible bath and laundry –perfect for a resident and caretaker.

The multivalent meaning of the word “Overlook” is apt here. 

Overlook: to fail to notice: From the main house above this residence is hardly visible, its broad roof creating a simple, new horizon line through the trees without interrupting the valley views. 

Overlook: a commanding position or view: Despite its modest footprint nestled into and almost hidden in the woods, the house perches lightly on the site to maximize its views and thus its expansive feel.

Overlook: to care for: Despite the challenges of the site the project is a testament to a commitment to extended family and the ennobling of a simple in-law unit with distinction and care.

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Status: Built
Location: Los Gatos, CA, US