The Westgate Residence In Brentwood, California represents the result of a successful renovation project carried out by Kurt Krueger Architect. The original house from 1948 was dramatically improved by adding new finishes and openings, but its square footage remained the same and it didn’t receive a second floor either.
Its floor plan occupies 2,200 square feet of space, and some of its most impressive additions include large windows as well as skylights that welcome natural light within. Made for a retired couple, the Westgate Residence offers utmost privacy thanks to a courtyard with retractable sunshades and Douglas fir wood slats that limit the view from the sidewalk level.
The cabinetry and the floors were created using high quality walnut wood, while the courtyard boasts limestone paving. The backsplash in the kitchen as well as the fireplace were outfitted with water-jet stone. A very important highlight comes in the form of a casework with white tiles that can be re-positioned in such a way as to conceal the TV or other objects that need hiding.
Several water features such as fountains add a touch of naturalness and help mask the noise of street traffic.
From the architect:
The Westgate Residence is a renovation of a 1948 house located in Brentwood, CA where the objective was to architecturally update the building through the use of new materials and openings, but without increasing the overall square footage or building envelope.
Situated near a fairly busy street intersection with an abundance of foot traffic, the challenge was to create a peaceful dwelling from an existing building shell. Because the home owners are a retired couple, ease of function and overall practicality were just as important as the overall design. Our mission was to seamlessly blend these requirements in a seamless and poetic way.
Rather than adding more area with a second floor, the house was kept to one level. The 50â€™x100â€™ lot meant that the existing footprint has already maximized, providing a first floor area at 2,200 square feet. However, the house had good bones, allowing us to pierce new window, door, and skylight openings, providing more natural light. Walls and unnecessary partitions were removed, allowing the main area to feel as one large space, but within it, containing smaller zones.
Security was an important factor to consider along with the limited outdoor space, so a courtyard with retractable sunshades were created to enclose the front yard. Douglas fir wood slats are placed at such a height that those on the sidewalk level cannot see in, but those at the higher courtyard level can see out.
The heightening of the senses was important throughout, and informed the selection of rich materials with tactile qualities. Douglas Fir wood was used for the siding as well as the doors and windows and copper gutters and downspouts line the exterior eaves. Walnut wood flooring and cabinetry are consistent throughout the house. Limestone paving is used in the courtyard, while Argentinian cobblestone announces the driveway and entrance. Water-jet stone is used at at the fireplace, Kitchen backsplash and in the Master Bathroom, allowing a custom grooves into the stone.
Attention to details created unique elements of surprise and wonder to the small space. One of these details was the creation of a dam-less level shower where the slab appears to float with the water falling off the edges and disappearing. Another was the use of white panels on the casework that can slide, tilt and re-positon to hide the television or any undesirables on the shelves.
Fountains and water elements add white noise to reduce the sound of street traffic and the landscaping was designed to screen, yet give a sense of calm and reflection.