Nash House, 1962
The Nash house sits on the east side of the Santa Cruz Mountains, the range of hills that separates San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. The house is located in Woodside, up the slope from Menlo Park and Palo Alto. The site is about 27 miles south southeast of San Francisco, and legend has it that through a telescope set up on the north-facing deck, you could see the elevators ascending the Mark Hopkins Hotel on Nob Hill.
The house was built for Jack and Dot Nash, who got to know the architect when the families lived on the same cul-de-sac in Urbana in the 1950s. After the Nashes moved to the Bay Area for Jack’s new job, they hired John to design the house, which was built in 1962.
Save for the first photograph, the images are reproductions (photos of photos) of a set of large-format photos put together for a show and reception honoring John on his retirement from the University of Illinois Department of Architecture in 1985. Bruce Hutchings and Art Kaha, I believe, were responsible for assembling these photos and those of many other houses. I would guess that John himself took the photos, probably in 1962.
The interior photo shows the characteristic minimalist furniture and white-painted walls and hearth. Two classic Porsche 356s are parked in the carport—one belonging to the Nashes and the other, the white one, to the Replingers.
The house passed into other hands after some years. One owner did a Mediterranean-style makeover, adding an ornate front door. House details have since been restored to minimalist, modern style.
Its spectacular site and adherence to pure modernist style surely make this one of the John’s finest designs.