The Sanctuary: An Urban Oasis That Appears to Float on Elevated Pillars

As you enter the property of The Sanctuary, you are immediately greeted by a majestic and century-old oak tree, whose canopy extends over the generous front garden. The architectural design of this urban retreat, located a short walk from downtown Palo Alto, was crafted to honor this tree and the rich vegetation hidden behind an old wooden fence.

The house, The Sanctuary, seamlessly blends with the surrounding landscape. The structure seems to float on elevated pillars, respecting the roots of the century-old oak tree and maintaining an ongoing dialogue with the site’s trees. The floor plan design extends beyond the building’s boundaries, dissolving into balconies that challenge the distinction between indoor and outdoor spaces. Even the driveway is an engineering feat, with floating concrete slabs supported by pillars, minimizing any impact on the century-old oak tree.

Large windows and glass doors flood the interiors with natural light, highlighting the clean and simple finishes of Alaskan yellow cedar and polished concrete.

The Sanctuary was designed for a tranquil and serene life. The minimalist, neutral-toned furniture allows the lush greenery of the landscape to take center stage. The living, dining, and kitchen spaces seamlessly merge into an open plan, creating a sense of calm and serenity. The kitchen, with its soft charcoal gray cabinets and basalt countertops, exudes natural warmth.

The house not only welcomes its residents but also promotes urban density intelligently, with a second-floor apartment designed for affordable rent. The conscious approach to quality residential design and multiple units sets a remarkable precedent.

Furthermore, The Sanctuary fully embraces nature, maximizing the connection to the outdoors through native gardens, stunning views, and courtyards that permeate the house.


Project: The Sanctuary
Location: Palo Alto, Uunited States
Architects: Feldman Architecture
Area: 4289 ft²
Year: 2019
Photographs: Joe Fletcher
Manufacturers: Neolith, Western Window Systems, Grohe, Miele, VELUX Group, A Pellizzari Concrete, Acor, Goldengate Door, InSinkErator, Kohler, Mueller Nicholls, NEWPORT BRASS, Rocky Mountain Hardware, Toto, VG Alaskan, Victoria & Albert, West Coast Architectural

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