This contemporary transformation of a dated ranch home features abundant windows, high ceilings, and energy-efficient design

Menlo Oaks Modern

Our clients loved their half-acre parcel of land, but not their dated ranch style house. They were undecided on whether new construction or a major remodel would yield the best end result. After visiting the site, we determined that the existing house was well-sited and in relatively good condition structurally, and that retaining the existing foundation would maximize their construction budget.

Apart from knowing that they wanted abundant windows and high ceilings where possible, our clients initially didn’t have strong feelings about what they wanted their house to look like. After some mutual exploration of other styles both in preliminary 3d models and in Houzz images of other homes, we proposed a contemporary house influenced by the Bay Area homes of residential developer Joseph Eichler and his contemporaries in Palm Springs. After careful consideration, the Owners gave us approval to explore this direction further.

The final design features large expanses of glazing, low slung roofs, and deep eaves, sized using passive solar principles. A stone-clad wall runs from the front porch to the rear patio, and announces the indoor-outdoor design intent as the house first comes into view. The house features improved insulation, solar PV and hot water panels, and hydronic radiant heat throughout, including the outdoor covered rear patio. With exterior wall and roof insulation far in excess of what California’s strict energy codes required, this new home was built without air conditioning, a relative rarity in the Bay Area.

Low energy consumption, liberal use of environmentally friendly materials and finishes, and reuse of portions of the existing building make this one of the “greenest” homes we have designed.


  • Scope of Work: 1653 s.f. addition to 2140 s.f. one story ranch house, with whole house remodel and conversion of exterior style
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Project Cost: $1,000,001 – $1,500,000
  • Location: Menlo Park, CA


Photography by Mark Pinkerton, VI360 Photography


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My wife and I could not be more thrilled with the work that Studio S Squared performed. Eugene and Sean at Studio S Squared were diligent and thoughtful with the design of our family home, and we are now enjoying the beauty and functionality of that effort.

The ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ when people walk into our main room are very satisfying knowing the work that went into its design. The kids and I have (quite literally) been skipping through the house.

B. Roberts


Eugene and Sean have been fantastic to work with on our remodel project. This is our first major remodel, and they have helped step us through the process and make what can be a hectic process go smoothly.

They have a lot of talent and are very easy to work with. We are glad we selected them!

J. Roberts


I have really enjoyed working with Eugene and his knowledgeable staff. Their design concepts make it very easy for the client establish the scope of their project and therefore get quotes from builders and designers.

As a designer, it is a pleasure to work with such an innovative and creative staff and see the architects vision through from start to finish. Whether it is a modern remodel or a traditional craftsman project, I would recommend Studio S Squared to produce fresh and original designs.

Nash Design Group