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Williams/Balaba/Salcedo Residence Kitchen Design
Oakland, California USA

This is a collection of three concepts creating a singular residence. The first concept is a truncated bathroom and laundry facility which utilizes the same structural concept as a Sea Anemone--structural strength and stability, economy of materials, energy conservation, natural air circulation and ease of construction. The owner wished to have complete privacy and was enthusiastic about owning something different from the rest of her neighbors. The configuration of the form allows for a natural ventilation air current through lower screened openings and exiting through the upper air vents. No mechanical fans and air conditioning is necessary. Natural light enters through a single 2 meter diameter hemisphere skylight bathing the interior in a brilliant yet warm light. The walls are insulated with cellulose, a non-toxic paper pulp material. The finishing material is a refined version of this same material in snow white color. The result is like newly fallen snow with tremendous sound absorption qualities. Both bathroom and laundry facility is bathed in natural and can be screened off for privacy. The kitchen area consists of a 3 meter long suspended solid butcher block wood table that is connected to the recycled granite countertop. The countertop undulates and becomes infused with the walls. All the cabinet facing is undulating birch wood with tiny drilled holes in the pattern of ocean waves, The owner wished to have something that reminded her of her native Phillipine ocean landscape.

At night, when the lights are turned on, the cabinets create a startling mural of light that surrounds the entire kitchen. All cabinet work was hand made by, Mario Philipona, who was a visiting student//intern from Holland, and a small crew of other interns. Bent and stressed fiberglass corrugated panels were used to create built-in countertop to ceiling lights and solid Pine wood hemispheres rotate as light switches with a touch of the hand. A specially designed "Eyeball" serving table was designed as part of the kitchen ensemble and stores under the suspended kitchen block wood countertop. The suspension structure allows for easy access and storage of this free-standing table under the countertop. The rear portion of the house opens onto a beautiful water canal. An extensive pink flagstone patio/deck contains an array of large, rounded boulders that nestle among a water slide, form a recyceled waterfall and partially border a sunken garden at the water's edge. A circular boat landing dock, also of pink flagstone, receives boats and swimmers from the canal. Multiple level changes create a dynamic and invigorating daytime environment. At night, the built-in undulating wall lights,water slide and waterfalls reflect upon the canal water creating an elegant and magical appearance. Specially designed chairs, buffet table, colored glass mural and ceiling wood grill and rice paper skylight complete the design of this marvelous building.


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