My friend Candace Levers is a board member of Vision Literacy, a local non-profit in Silicon Valley. Vision Literacy provides adults with basic literacy and technology skills.
Its students acquire vital reading, writing, speaking and listening tools, allowing them to become better parents, employees, business owners and citizens.
This past weekend, Vision Literacy was the sole beneficiary of the Silicon Valley Modern Home Tour. I volunteered at one of the show homes in Menlo Park, greeting tour patrons, selling tickets and imaging what it would be like to actually live in the Spiegel home.
Our local paper featured the Menlo Park home with the headline: Just call it stunning. I couldn’t agree more. Vast walls of glass and large windows brought the outdoors in. Walls covered in cedar, simple lines, open ceilings and slate floors felt breezy and comfortable. Native grasses, trees, shrubs and flowers surround the entire house, blurring the lines between inside and out.
In affluent Menlo Park, property is at a premium. They build houses close together. Yet the entire time I was there it felt like an oasis. The use of trees, a ‘wall’ of bamboo, and the home’s placement on the lot, all contributed to a sense of privacy while retaining the open plan.
One of the super-cool features of the Spiegel house is the four-story tower. Each floor has a landing with glass walls, a small bedroom and a corresponding bathroom. The bottom floor is a seating area and the top floor is an exterior, roof-top balcony. The rest of the house is all on one floor.
Architect Dan Spiegel, grew up in the home originally on the lot. He designed the home for his parents, who moved in a year ago. Dan was on site to answer questions during the tour, along with his wife and business partner, landscape designer Megumi Aihara. It was a pleasure meeting these talented, down-to-earth people.
You can learn more about the house and gardens by taking a virtual tour at Low/Rise House/Spiegel. Pictures include floor plans and elevations.