Inspired by the 1930s Maison de Verre in Paris by Pierre Chareau, this home is renowned for its masterful engineering with entire walls and ceilings of structural glass, but more importantly, its thoughtful design that discretely accommodates full handicap accessibility. The marriage of the two blends in harmony with a result that is both beautiful and functional. Precision craftsmanship is apparent inside and out – from the entire front façade of glass block to the breathtaking gallery entrance spanned by a glass ceiling. The juxtaposition of natural materials, like vertical grain cedar and Tasmanian oak, with the clarity of glass creates a rich meditative tone accentuated by the beauty of the surroundings.
A focus concept in creating a house of “light” was to have natural light bathing the principal rooms on all four sides. This challenging yet stunning achievement is something rarely experienced.
Throughout the home’s two levels, connected by elevator or a glass tower staircase, the entire ambiance is traditional modernism. Vast walls are comprised of nothing but frameless glass while others are set beneath perfectly placed lighting for the display of fine art. A sleek chef’s kitchen stands ready to host festive gatherings in the formal living and dining rooms, a recreation room doubles as a media center, and a customized office is designed for two.
All the main floor room have a most unique connection to the garden. However, the living room and master bedroom have a most unusual ambiance as a result of the beautiful glass walls that bring the garden into the room.
The home’s personal accommodations comprise five sumptuous bedroom suites with three on the main level and two more privately located on the lower level. The grounds are equally captivating and designed with the same simplicity of the home. Quiet sitting areas are tucked beneath towering redwoods, native plantings respect the environment, and a soothing fountain adds a Zen quality. With its exceptional Menlo Park address, unparalleled construction, and rare functionality, this is indeed a very special place to call home in Silicon Valley.
Architect John Thodos was a noted residential architect located in Carmel. He died in 2009 when the house was about 2/3 complete so it was his last project after a string of most notable houses. He was a consumate modernist and most unwilling to compromise the design integrity in any way. The fact that the house won an AIA award (hanging in the kitchen) honors John’s position amongst California’s best.
As you can imagine I went to great lengths to select one of the best contractors on the west coast. I have contact with and have toured many houses in OR, Wash, and CA and chose Marrone and Marrone with considerable care. Not only was his project history most impressive, Greg’s personal involvement goes beyond outstanding, and his choice of subcontractors was exceptional. He also had a project superintendent, Steve Gonzales, who I insisted should be on the project full time. Steve’s contribution put this project over the top and based on my 50 years in the construction business that opinion is more than well founded.
In the five years since moving into this exceptional house I have to say that the service, support, and follow-through that Greg Marrone has provided is an asset not to be taken lightly. Greg takes enormous pride in this house and while there has been little to attend to he is always there to make sure any question or issue is properly and totally taken care of.
With the contractor and the extensive list of service providers we have developed the new owner can rest assured that all the support necessary to care for this outstanding house is in place.