The Mueller Residence is nestled into a gently sloping three-acre site in the Sierra Foothills to the northeast of Sacramento. Wooded, private and secluded, it enjoys the charm of countryside rusticity and the solitude of rural living.
Mrs. Mueller set the tone for their house from the outset. Her modest personal request, "I would simply like to have a loft "tower" space where to retreat, contemplate, and look out over the trees." The design sprang entirely from her wish--a stretched pyramid form reaching to the top of the trees themselves, with spaces stacked vertically within--and topped by Mrs. Mueller's windowed refuge.
The Mueller Residence is basically three concentric square floors organized vertically in a logical hierarchy from social to most private. Deep, exposed glu-laminated beams originate from the topmost point and travel down through the corners, each coming to rest upon an elevated square concrete base. In the center of the house is a "utility core" that contains all bathrooms, mechanical equipment and a fireplace at the ground and second floors. The core projects out through the roof and is expressed as a prismatic cap.
The larger ground floor contains social spaces of Living Room, Dining Room and Kitchen open to the landscape beyond through a continuous ribbon of glass that wraps around this base. One corner off the main entry contains a small study for the owner and a low "wing' extension from the kitchen for pantry and storage.
The Master Bedroom, Bath and wardrobe occupy the entire second floor, which itself, is much like a tray, suspended over the floor below. The floor plate for both second and third floors are entirely free of the sloping planes of the pyramid's sides; the four planes serving as both wall and roof. Space is allowed to flow freely horizontally and vertically throughout the interior of the pyramid. At the second and third levels, large triangular penetrations through to the exterior become windows, and in other cases balconies. The edge of each floor plate is ringed with low cabinetry and shelves, a practical solution to the obvious need for railing.
Mrs. Mueller's tower refuge is reached via a circular stair from the bedroom. The space is extended to the exterior and becomes a charming balcony overlooking the trees.
The residence encloses approximately 2,460 square feet and was designed with two low, single story extensions to be constructed in the future as additional bedrooms, gallery and two-car garage. All built-in cabinetry, furnishings and landscaping were designed by the architect.