Originally designed in 1956 by Texan architects Fehr and Granger, this midcentury home brings the past into the present through the renovation of Nick Deaver architects. Sixty years later, the glass house, which featured minimal and modest wood, was updated to have a touch of today. Surrounded by a “cathedral of live oaks in Northwest Hills, the emphatic lines, limestone base and gracefully pitched roof” of RaveOn is the epitome of modern architecture meets midcentury.
The owner was originally attracted to the property’s old world charm. Though the low ceilings created a dark interior environment, the renovation architects felt that the house had enough structural integrity and interesting elements to be preserved rather than demolished. With the exterior shell and the roof lines still intact, Nick Deaver opted to focus the transformation in the interior and preserve the midcentury facade.
Furthermore, he confronted the challenge of bringing in the existing aesthetics into the current contemporary architectural style. He describes the design approach as a way to live in a midcentury home in a modern way.
Given that the clients’ were passionate about the existing home, Deaver wanted to intertwine both generations in a comprehensive way by giving the same importance to the older elements as well as the new additions. To do so, he had to understand the design language of the 1965 house before he could cater to the new requirements of the space.
In renovating RaveOn House, Deaver undertook a “continuation of design” approach rather than preservation. He addressed the new spatial needs and connected the house to the surrounding landscape, rehabilitating the outdoor patio and introducing a cantilevered pool that can be enjoyed by multiple generations.
He also focused on the entrance, using light materials to create an inviting aura. The envelope was opened up with windows to bring natural sunlight in, transforming what was once a tired and dated interior into an open and airy space. He also recladded the house in insulated glass to return to the building’s original footprint before an unsuccessful expansion.
The social spaces, the kitchen, the living room and the dining area, are surrounded by limestone walls to communicate beauty in nature. At 2680 square feet, a back-switching stair connects the upper and lower levels with a cohesive circulation system. The master’s bedroom was also replanned to provide more space by repositioning the cabinetry.
This new layout allows for a more fluid circulation wherein an open riser hanging stair leads “directly to a new pool terrace, pool house and playroom below. This south facing terrace, a concrete, wood and steel improvisation of the original structure, cantilevers over the hill and completes the missing backyard.” The result is a successful renovation with spaces that can be enjoyed by multiple generations.