Sapphire Gallery

This residential addition is designed to showcase a private art collection, while providing domestic space with views of the surrounding hills and creating an attractive new focal point for approach and entry to the property.

The owner’s collection includes the work of several well-known contemporary artists including Uta Barth, Gregory Crewsdon, Tomoroy Dodge, and video artist Jennifer Steinkamp. The owner requested a building that was more than just a container for these items.

They did not want to be neutral, and requested that the new buildings have the sculptural qualities associated with the existing 1960s modern homes as well as works of art, many of which have geometric and architectural features.

In order to make room for the new expansion, the existing garage was demolished. The new structure was developed as an extension of the existing home spinal circulation, and lifted off the ground to create secondary space under and around the building.

The new extension frames the clearing that now connects the back garden to the main entrance yard. This new hardscape / landscape area is used by families as a sport / play area for their children, for art parties and for video projection.

The lightweight support truss structure system was developed to achieve double cantilevering at each end of the trapezoidal building. The single-storey frame consists of a welded tube steel section which is factory built and assembled by crane on site within one working day.

They are mounted on a moment frame that spans clearly the open ground plane in a perpendicular direction, allowing the floor and roof diaphragms to be conventionally framed. This system proved to be a very simple and flexible way of achieving project program parameters.

The remaining details of the dark quartz gravel floor, white steel staircase and perforated steel railings, full-height pivot door, and UV-treated glass walls are designed as a serene backdrop for the artwork and natural surroundings.

A series of photovoltaic cells on a sloping roof facing south produces an average of 15kWh per day, enough to supply all the energy for the new building with a surplus directed to the main house.