San Jose, California presents an interesting case study of the ranch house type’s evolution over time from an alternative space of mid-century Modernism’s open plan and mass customization to a contemporary type characterized by typological differences rather than any uniform spatial or formal ordering. In other words, while many residential types exhibit underlying organizational and compositional ideals, the ranch house type is non-ideal, non-uniform, and informal spataial and formal compositions within a basic 1-story broad-faced massing. This makes the front facade of the ranch house type its primary medium for architectural expression. In the ranch house type window sizes and locations vary, roofs and walls might appear to move indpendently of eachother, elements such as chimney’s and garages often flank a recessed entry, and typically the plan profile reveals a ‘crenelated’ line.
For this front addition a new entry is ‘carved’ into the single story massing with intersecting barrel vaults. This perception of a carved a mass is anchored by a chimney stack that cleaves the roofline into distinct, receding planes of roof and wall. One of these wall planes detaches from the foundation as a cantilever, exaggerating the planarity of the wall while creating relief from the ground. The new roof is elongated to create additional surface area for solar panels, while in plan, the corners of the addition cascade, or step, disrupting the typical ‘bar’ of ‘L’ plan of a ranch house.
_Front addition to a 1-story ranch house in San Jose, CA.
_Structural Engineer: Hewitt Consulting Group
_General Contractor: C&E Remodeling, Inc.
_Expected Construction: 2023 (currently in Plan Check Revisions)