A house is meant to provide shelter. In the case of our Green Tara residence, the design was meant to provide a place of protection and privacy. Our clients expressly wanted a home into which they could enter and feel a sense of transition from the outside world to their private realm. The home is designed
in a C-shape configuration with the building wrapping around an outdoor courtyard. Unlike most homes, this space is actually at the front of the house, but gains its privacy through a wooden screen wall that separates the entry drive from views into the courtyard space. Visitors enter a covered walkway, protected on one side by the building and on the other by the courtyard screen wall – and it is not until they are well within the house that they are afforded views into the private outdoor courtyard. Upon entry, the home begins to unveil itself.
The design is deliberate in offering layers of privacy in terms of the placement of spaces. The further one ventures into the building, the more private the spaces. The entry side of the home contains the dining and kitchen areas (with the kitchen at the “knuckle” point) as well as a stair leading down to a private lower level living space. The main living room has a commanding view of the courtyard, and guest bedrooms and an office are found beyond the living space. At the furthest point from the main entry to the house can be found the master suite with its own private patio separated softly by landscaping from the main courtyard space.Materials selected for the home emphasize the peaceful nature of the spaces. Roofs are low slung and allude to a Japanese influence. The palette for the interior spaces is muted natural tones with dark wood flooring and cabinetry, warm stone walls, and cream colored walls to highlight an extensive collection of art. On the outer walls of the home, windows are smaller and used like picture frames to deliberately frame special vistas in the large property. A different strategy is used for the windows facing into the courtyard, where vast expanses of glass run the entire length of the living and dining spaces and blur the division of interior and exterior space. While Green Tara is internally focused in concept, it continually connects its inhabitants to the outer world of the courtyard as they pass through spaces during the course of the day.
Photography: Gerry Kopelow / Photographics, Inc.