Blodgett-Calvin Site Design

San Marino, California

Located on the slope of a shallow oak-studded valley, the secluded one-acre was once part of a grand estate. In 1954, a house was built near the highest elevation of the site. The sense of place that the house and the native landscape represented, led the Owners to decide to sensitively extend the house and to build a series of satellite pavilions to provide for their needs.

A collection of pavilions, are sited in the clearings of mature oaks, and for the vantage point of the main house. In the desire minimize their perceived footprints, the project is an exercise in blurring figure and ground; building and landscape.

Navigating the tension between an imposed geometry and the natural topography, each pavilion evolves its form as they move across the site, from the cardinal order of the original house to the shifting geometry of the land. Each establishes a distinct relationship to main house based on its program; and each, to varying degrees, opens up to and melds its built-form into the natural landscape. Roofs become ground planes, inside becomes outside; each structure supporting a relationship or a pursuit that matters deeply to the Owners.

Publication: Dwell