Erling Berg, Academy of Art University

Villa Linear, Los Gatos, CA


The main challenge of this project was to fit the 2000 square feet house on its very narrow site and still maintain its surrounding trees and vegetation. To maximize the foot print the house follows the plot boundaries on all 4 sides, pushing the house forward on its site to maintain the trees in the back of the plot.

The house opens to the front with a small yard and a patio as the back of the house is dense with trees. An interior corridor fuses the private zones in the back of the house with open social zones of dining and living in the front. The open space in the front of the house is divided where the main living space is lowered to gradually get closer to nature and the outdoor patio.

The materials used in this project will have reduced maintenance and replacement costs over the buildings’ life span using long lasting materials. The building materials, systems and components are found locally or regionally saving energy and resources in transportation to the project site. All wood used in this project is certified and comes from responsibly managed California forests. The materials are also manufactured with resource-efficient processes including reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste (recycled, recyclable and or source reduced product packaging), and reducing greenhouse gases.

Strategically placed windows and skylights provide not only great amounts of natural daylight but also natural ventilation. Cold air flows into the house and continues through the main corridor seen in the cross section where warm air flows out through the skylights.