The Clarke Pavilion, a pool house, is a site-specific work of architecture. The existing residence has an elliptical in-ground swimming pool in the rear yard of over 1 acre in Orinda, California.

Project Name: Clarke Residence
Studio Name: David Kesler Architect
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Michael Ross Consulting Engineer
ELECTRICAL SUB-CONTRACTOR: Robert Weltz, Pleasant Hill,CA
DESIGN TEAM: David Kesler Architect
PHOTOGRAPHER(S): Frank Domin

Clarke Residence By David Kesler Architect - Sheet3
©Frank Domin

The new reinforced concrete pool house takes inspiration from this form. An elliptical roof, 30’’ by 40’ creates interplay between the water form and the concrete form.

At 1200 square feet the roof is 3 times the size of the 400 square foot pavilion. The elliptical roof extends rigid functionality into the realm of the poetic.

Clarke Residence By David Kesler Architect - Sheet5
©Frank Domin

The project also sits as a commentary and counterpoint to the existing traditional home on the property. In this sense the living space of this pool house is “transparent” to all, serving as a kind of commentary on 21st century existence in line with a flat screen television above a gas fireplace and kitchen exposed to the living room area.

Sculptural interaction is also set in motion through the combination of the rectilinear and the fluid line. The site is the rear yard of traditionally designed 400 square foot home in Orinda, California. Orinda gets quite warm in the summer, so the Owners wanted a pool house that would provide shade and comfort as a companion to an existing elliptical swimming pool.

Clarke Residence By David Kesler Architect - Sheet6
©Frank Domin

The pavilion is 400 square feet and is roughly $180,000 in overall cost. Program included a kitchen open to a living room with shower and toilet facilities in a contiguous space. The pavilion uses a sliding door system that allows the entire space to open to the outside.

The Owners were supportive of “sculpture in the expanded field”. Though they had a budget limitation they wanted to support the creation of a work of art for this project.

Clarke Residence By David Kesler Architect - Sheet8
©Frank Domin

My initial solution was a more cubist inspired work. The Owners wanted something smoother and gentler within the site. The “inspirational” moment came when I was analyzing photos of the site with the existing elliptical pool. Sketching a companion ellipse seemed appropriate, and of our time, yet of the site.

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