A contemporary exterior makeover driven by a new over-the-garage addition

San Jose Contemporary

The program brief from our clients was simple: “add a room over the garage” to yield a guest bedroom that could double as an home office.

A survey soon revealed that the existing garage was encroaching on the front setback and would have to be rebuilt to conformance in order to add space above. In parallel, meetings with our clients also led us to believe that despite having purchased a nondescript ranch house, they had a latent predilection for modern architecture, and were open to something more than the usual “box over a box” solution that one often sees when a bonus room is added over the garage. Our theory was borne out when the clients responded yawningly to initial sketches that sought to blend the addition with the existing architecture, but with great enthusiasm to 3d models hinting at a more modern and playful approach.

The curving front lot line necessitated an offset in the new garage wall, which in turn drove the massing of the new living space above. A new murphy bed built into a cantilevered bay anchors the sleeping area on the left side of the addition, while the home office on the right features a wall of glass looking out to the canopy of a mature tree, and a balcony that serves as a walkway to the front door.

Aluminum windows and garage doors, galvalume siding, dark painted stucco, and clear stained wood are the primary materials on the exterior.


  • Project Year: 2011
  • Project Cost: $150,001 – $200,000
  • Location: San Jose, CA


Photography by Mark Pinkerton, VI360 Photography


Contact us today to start designing the home of your dreams!