House 7 was designed to engage the family in a daily play between their house and the elements. A celadon-colored, sculpted geological wall at the front entry weeps water like a natural rock face. The pleated, butterfly roof feeds rainwater to both a rusted, plate-steel corner drain at the office; and, at the rear, a Cheng-signature “erosion time-lapse wall” is designed to slowly wear over time and reveal sculptural objects placed within concrete wall-forms.

These rainwater/art installations were designed with sight, sound and conservation (cisterns) in mind. Insulated 15” concrete walls, minimize heating/cooling needs. Walls are clad with reclaimed redwood felled over 100 years ago. Winter sun heats a passive solar concrete wall. Photovoltaic roof panels cover 60% of the roof. In the second floor hallway, a peaked ceiling is angled for maximum hydronic solar gain and skylights illuminate steel “tendons” expressing the structural tension of the winged roof and the lightness of the vaulted space.

Conceptualized as a “small village,” where dwellings of multiple size and scale support and harmonize one another, House 7 demonstrates an interconnectedness and lively relationship between the home and natural elements. All finished concrete crafted throughout House 7 (geological walls, cantilevered treads, inlays, etc) was hands-on work by Fu-Tung Cheng working on site with the contractor.

Project Scope: Design energy-conscious custom home

Project Size: 7,000 s.f.

Location: Los Altos Hills, CA

Project Articles + Awards:

Summer 2014
International Design Awards
Gold – First Place: New Residential Building

Feb / Mar 2015
Concrete Decor
Form & Function: The Aesthetics of Concrete Design