Year: 2023

Sunnyvale, CA



Mariko Reed

A new Iconic Eichler

The clients came to us with a desire to create an iconic Eichler. Eichler homes are post war developments with the same design used again and again, so entire neighborhoods have the exact same house repeated several times on the same street.

So this was a really interesting design challenge for us. How does one create something unique and different that still responds to a neighborhood’s design intent?

Once we established a program and general layout for the addition to the front of the home, we began to explore different roof shapes as a way of differentiating the building, the original Eichler detailing created a framework for us to work within. This established the original architectural language at the detail level, which truly opened us up to explore several design options for the overall architecture.

We landed on a roof that respected the original slope of the Eichlers, with a play on directionality. Instead of sloping up toward the center of the building, the addition slopes up and away from the structure, adding a dynamic quality that I haven’t seen before.

Adding an Atrium:

It can be a challenge to add natural light into the center of the home with these smaller lots in Silicon Valley, because many homeowners instinct is to overbuild their lot, maximizing the livable area and compromising the quality of the space and interior environment.

As a contrast, many original Eicher homes embraced an open-air Atrium entry, with glass walls on all 4 sides that let natural light into the center of the home. Since then, the atrium Eichlers are highly desired over the non-atrium models.

This client purchased a non-atrium model and then opted to use the front yard to build out. Our design embraced the atrium entry, shifting the front door of the original design to a gateway entry that opens into an open air courtyard with glass on 4 sides.


The concept of this home is sleek, minimal, and clean. Every decision we made for materiality embraced this ideal. Instead of the traditional mahogany, we introduced white oak. We also used a large format white terrazzo from Concrete Collaborative to tie in the warmth of the wood. Cork flooring was a popular choice in the 60’s, so we payed homage to that but selected a whitewashed finish that really elevates the traditional flooring material. Dimensional tile from Rombini adds a level of depth and texture under the kitchen island and in the primary bathroom.

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