2015 Silicon Valley Modern Home Tour

Get ready for an exciting twist on our regular lineup when Modern Home Tours returns to Silicon Valley on May 16, 2015.    Jointly curated by Modern Home Tours and nationally-acclaimed mid-century modern specialist and filmmaker Monique Lombardelli, this year’s lineup features over half-a-century of modern masterpieces.

DATE: Saturday, May 16, 2015
TIME: 11:00am – 5:00pm
COST: $30 Online in advance, $40 Day of
LOCATION: Click HERE to download MAP PDF.
TRANSPORTATION: Self-driving, Self-paced



Advance tickets are on sale through FRIDAY, May 15 at 8:00 PM for $30 each. Tickets purchased after that time MUST be purchased at any of the tour homes beginning at 11:00 am on May 16 for $40 each. Children 12 and under are free.

Featured Homes

A) 1651 Yorktown Rd, San Mateo, CA – “The Life House”
A piece of art in a garden with a view of San Francisco Bay. Contemporary award winning split level home in close proximity to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Four BR’s, three bathrooms, includes two master BR’s, steam room, outside spa, two fireplaces, wrap around decking. Surrounded by glass blended to the outside decking and landscaped garden with a view of Treasure Island on the San Francisco Bay. Private driveway and carport. Sleeps ten. Fourth bedroom / studio negotiated for less amount. Other amenities include: smart home, green home, security video, butler services, concierge for Silicon Valley and San Francisco, local Olympic size community pool and tennis courts, nearby shaded walking trail and complementary fitness club passes.

Architect: Pietro Belluschi
Curated by Monique Lombardelli of Modern Homes Realty





life house


B) 1512 Harbor Blvd., Belmont, CA

The owners, inspired by mid-century modern architecture, hired Klopf Architecture to help them decide: remodel and add to a 1940s modern house or start fresh with an Eichler-inspired 21st-Century, energy efficient, all new home that would work for their family of three. With the decision made to start over, Klopf and the owners planned a home that follows the gentle slope of the hillside while the overarching post-and-beam roof above provides an unchanging datum line. Every square foot of the house remains close to the ground creating a sense of connection with nature. The resulting increase in ceiling height with each step-down helps create the hierarchy of the public spaces (living room is tallest, then dining, then kitchen, then entry). A rational layout based on four-foot-wide beam bays brings a calm composure to the space while the central stacked stone fireplace chimney shooting up through a skylight contrasts that with some fanfare.

Unassuming planes of stacked stone down below street level belie the roomy, open spaces that are progressively revealed as one flows through this Modern Atrium House. Enter through the front door into a foyer that provides glimpses beyond of the continuous post-and-beam roof, then round a corner and pass an atrium visible to your right with views up ahead of the rear yard through a large glass wall. As the sloping site drops away from the street, the house continues to step down to a large living room that’s bounded on both sides by glass walls. Look to the rear to take in the larger-than-usual green and natural back yard. Look back toward the street to see the landscaped atrium and beyond that a wall of trees separating the house from the street. The indoor/outdoor feeling in the house is most intense in the living room, but certainly present in every room of the house.

The changing moods of nature are reflected in the house due to the direct outdoor views at nearly every vantage point in the house. But with the house being on a large, wooded lot and down below the street, the owners are connected to nature all around but still afforded privacy from all sides. Although very open and connected to nature, the house is not at the mercy of the elements. Roof overhangs protect outdoor spaces and shade the house from unwanted sun. Where unwanted sun couldn’t be shaded, heat mirror glass keeps the heat out so that there is no need for air conditioning in this house. The large aluminum sliding doors and windows are insulated and most have thermally-broken frames, the walls and roof are super-insulated, and the in-floor radiant heat is in a separate, insulated radiant slab, so even with expansive glass, the energy performance of this house exceeded California’s strict energy code by almost 40%.

Architect: John Klopf, Klopf Architecture








C) 795 Greer Rd, Palo Alto, CA

Adorable Mid-Century Modern style home with original details. Light and bright with floor to ceiling glass. Located in Palo Alto’s beautiful Green Gables area, this three bedroom home boasts the very popular post and beam construction and a brick fireplace in the living room.

Architect: Anshen and Allen
Curated by Monique Lombardelli of Modern Homes Realty


Greer Main Photo






D) 863 Cumberland Dr., Sunnyvale CA

Renovated atrium style Eichler home with new metal roof, kitchen, family room and landscaping.

Architect: Mark J. Marcinik, M110 Architecture




E) 55 Alhambra Ct., Portola Valley

The home was one of the first built in the Alpine Hills neighborhood of Portola Valley. Designed by Beverley Thorne, the last living Case Study House architect, for Frank Norton, an employee of Bethlehem Steel, and his wife Ruthe. This was the period when Bethlehem Steel was aggressively promoting steel as a residential building material and Mr. Thorne was one of their preferred architects. 

The house is very simple and relatively modest, a steel post and beam module repeated along the length of the house, tied together with a flat wood roof and floor deck. 

The extensive use of glass and redwood decking lends the house that classic Californian inside/outside living experience.

Architect: Beverley Thorne
Curated by Monique Lombardelli of Modern Homes Realty







F) 4050 Ben Lomond Dr., Palo Alto

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.

Architect: Klopf Architecture
Photography: Mariko Reed








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