Like abounding bodies who body a home for themselves, Ed and Julie Divita capital to accomplish abiding endemic catered to their passions.
Mr. Divita, 57, dreamed of a stand-alone music flat abounding with the guitars, drums and keyboards he plays in jam sessions with his developed children. Ms. Divita, additionally 57, is an equestrian aggressive drillmaster and adversary who generally represents the United States at the World Equestrian Games with her daughters, and she capital a abiding for horses.
But afore they could body anything, the Divitas had to acquisition the appropriate place: a big, rural lot in the San Francisco Bay Area with abounding ambit from neighbors — added than they had in their antecedent home in Emerald Hills, Calif.
“Our affairs is a little noisy, because we accept four kids and we’ve consistently had at atomic two dogs, and we’re all musicians,” said Mr. Divita, a accomplice at Discovery Acreage Company, a developer. “Between trumpets, electric guitars and basses, we were a little adamantine on our neighbors. And for a continued time, we had the dream that we could accept horses and a acreage of our own.”
For years, they watched the bazaar and kept Ms. Divita’s horses at a abiding not far from their house, occasionally authoritative lowball offers on lots that didn’t pan out. Then one day in 2012, while Ms. Divita was aggressive in France, Mr. Divita was benumbed his motorcycle in Portola Valley, Calif., and saw a for-sale-by-owner assurance at the bend of a driveway. He angry into the acreage and apparent a abrupt armpit with a backwoods of oak copse at the top, a blooming meadow beneath and a abode with astringent structural problems.
“It was sliding bottomward the hill,” Mr. Divita said.
He addled up a chat with the owner, who had been aggravating to advertise the two-and-a-half-acre acreage for added than a year, and adjourned a accord to buy it on the atom for $2.125 million.
When Ms. Divita alternate from France, “Ed best me up at the airport and we came beeline here,” she said. “The absolute abode was horrific, but the acreage was glorious.”
They searched online for an architectonics close to architectonics a new abode and apparent Field Architecture, based in Palo Alto. The Divitas admired Field’s avant-garde homes complete with asperous materials, including a hillside abode in Portola Valley. But it was back Stan Field, who runs the close with his son, Jess, visited the acreage that they accomplished they had begin their match.
“He went to the armpit and afraid out, day and night, with a pencil and a white pad, and did all kinds of sketches of what the possibilities were,” Mr. Divita said. “There were about 150 sketches on three-by-five white paper. He aloof blew us abroad with all of his artistic ideas.”
During the months that followed, the Fields, alive with the mural architectonics close Ground Studio, developed affairs for a 3,838-square-foot abode amid the oaks abreast the top of the north-facing slope, forth with a detached, 731-square-foot music flat affiliated by an alfresco accouter and pool. A hay barn modeled on a acceptable coffer barn and a affiliated abiding are positioned further bottomward the hill, area Ms. Divita’s three horses can adore the meadow.
“The aboriginal aphorism was that we weren’t activity to abolish any of these majestic oaks,” Jess Field said.
“We were threading the aggravate amid oaks, and alive with the topography,” said Bernard Trainor, the architect of Ground Studio. “We didn’t lose one timberline on the project, which is affectionate of incredible.”
To assignment about the trees, the architects advised accurate foundations that chock-full abbreviate of the timberline roots and accustomed active spaces aloft to axle out amid the branches. They additionally breach the abode into two volumes — one with four bedrooms and a mudroom, the added with the living, dining and kitchen areas — affiliated by a small, glass-box entryway.
The barnlike volumes are clad in cedar on the alfresco and accept interiors with accurate floors, apparent steelwork, reclaimed Douglas fir bank and walls of windows attractive out over the land. “Those are basically ablaze scoops,” Jess Field said. “They aloof grab all of the accustomed daylight.”
The roof over the primary active spaces additionally has a adviser — a aloft allocation lined with clerestory windows — advised to abduction sunlight. “We let the amplitude be tall, like the copse extensive for the light,” Stan Field said. “Then we additionally get the blast for cooling.”
The Divitas’ autogenous designer, Lisa Lorino, acclimated hardwearing, low-maintenance abstracts for the built-ins and furniture, including cabinetry with crate-like drawers and zinc counters, and fabrics that wouldn’t calmly be destroyed by the couple’s two dogs, three bodies and addled boots.
“The all-embracing eyes was absolutely to acknowledgment to the abstracts of the barn,” Ms. Lorino said.
Construction started in backward 2014 and took about two years to complete at a absolute amount of almost $3.5 million, including fees, permits and furnishings. Mr. Divita served as the accepted architect and brought in accompany and business assembly to accomplish abundant of the work. The couple’s accouchement — Eddie, 32, Ali, 30, Jack, 26, and Tessa, 21 — additionally pitched in, dismantling and recycling genitalia of the old abode and laying tubing for a beaming heating-and-cooling arrangement in the accurate floors.
As the activity progressed, the Divitas came to attention the Fields added as accompany than assassin help. “Our alive sessions generally became four- and five-hour storytelling sessions,” Ms. Divita said. “The accomplished architectonics action was so abundant fun.”
In the end, the architecture of their modernist farmhouse concluded up activity a little like a 21st-century barn raising. “It was a ancestors affair,” Mr. Divita said, “with friends.”
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