Klopf Architecture, Arterra Landscape Architects, and Flegels Construction updated a classic Eichler open, indoor-outdoor home. Expanding on the original walls of glass and connection to nature that is common in mid-century modern homes. The completely openable walls allow the homeowners to truly open up the living space of the house, transforming it into an open air pavilion, extending the living area outdoors to the private side yards, and taking maximum advantage of indoor-outdoor living opportunities. Taking the concept of borrowed landscape from traditional Japanese architecture, the fountain, concrete bench wall, and natural landscaping bound the indoor-outdoor space. The Truly Open Eichler is a remodeled single-family house in Palo Alto. This 1,712 square foot, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom is located in the heart of the Silicon Valley.


The concept of the house is clearer now than in the original state: two “wooden boxes,” one at the front and one at the back, contain the garage / kitchen / powder room and the bedroom wing respectively. They’re connected by a conceptual “void” – the great room space – which is completely glass on both sides. This space contains the living and dining areas, and when the two large glass walls are opened up, expands outward to contain one seating area by the fountain, another seating area by the firepit, and an outdoor eating area as well. The completely openable walls allow the homeowners to truly open up the living space of the house, transforming it into an open air pavilion, extending the living area outdoors to the private side yards, and taking maximum advantage of indoor-outdoor living opportunities. Taking the concept of borrowed landscape from traditional Japanese architecture, the fountain, concrete bench wall, and natural landscaping bound the indoor / outdoor space.


The roof extends past the folding glass door walls to help blend the interior and exterior spaces, not to mention provide shade and additional protection from the rain. Cedar siding covers the two wooden boxes of the house, except for the white walls that continue along from exterior to interior to exterior at the great room. The smooth white surface extending from outdoors to indoors to outdoors again further blends the interior and exterior spaces, as well as providing a conceptual cut through the house, reinforcing the void that separates the two wooden boxes.

The bedrooms, bathrooms, and storage areas of the house are located in the private, rear wooden box. Rooms are open to the outdoors, even including bathrooms. The master bath becomes a tunnel to the outdoors with a complete glass wall at the shower. The clear glass wall looks onto the private, landscaped rear yard, and lets the homeowners feel like they are showering outdoors.


“Renovated by American-based Klopf Architecture, the architects have vast experience of designing representations of Eichler’s work, knowing all too well about the work of the American design influencer. The home owners of this residence (and much like all of Klopf’s other clients) have a passion for architecture, a love of openness in design and the lifestyle that Eichler-inspired designs embody. Klopf Architects see their Eichler-related projects as a chance to ‘update the classics’ and re-invigorate such homes to meet the needs of 21st century families, and as you look through the gallery you will certainly be able to identify classic features of the last 80 years. Much like most 20th century homes, many are now outdated of modern living cultures and routines, and it is quite refreshing to see such work and efforts in reinvigorating designs of the past. With over 130 Eichler and mid-century modern homes to their portfolio, Klopf Architects are widely known for their respectful renovation approach and this home is no different – a great example of their work, in fact.” SATORI & SCOUT





  • Architect: Klopf Architecture
  • Photographer: Mariko Reed

Posted by John Klopf

Klopf Architecture brings the outside in. For 15 years the team at Klopf Architecture has sought to understand each client's needs, then designed custom solutions for each unique situation. Specializing in new warm, modern homes and modernist net-zero energy houses, the firm uses clean lines, proportioning, restful alignments, and natural materials to admit natural light and connect inhabitants with nature. The firm's primary goal is to create spaces people love to inhabit.

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