Hi-Tech Sci-Fi Inspired Retreat
Pool Owner: Malika and Junaid Qurashi
Pool Designer/Builder: Malika Junaid, M Designs Architects
Location: Los Altos Hills, CA
· Ultra-modern, indoor/outdoor pool
· 60’x10’ pool with custom floor tile depicting Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam”
· 40’ retractable, hangar door powered by push-button hydraulics
· Suspended dining room directly above pool inspired by the star ship enterprise from Star Trek
· Outdoor spa directly across from pool
· Unique hillside location with breathtaking natural views
· $10-million-dollar home
When Malika and her husband Junaid started making plans to build their dream home, they knew they wanted the swimming pool to be the focal point of the house. Malika is an acclaimed architect known for her cutting edge, high-tech, modern homes, so it’s no surprise that she would lead the charge in the design of her own home. Because they are an extremely busy family they wanted to be able to individually focus on their various activities as well as to spend time together simultaneously in the same space. Additionally, as the whole family are avid swimmers, they wanted every living space in the house to be in sight of the pool. For example: the kids could be swimming in the pool at the bottom of the house while Malika could keep an eye on them from the kitchen a floor above, while her husband works in the family room across the way from the kitchen-- all while still in eye-line and ear-shot from one another. The angles and eye-lines are made possible through the placement of the pool. It sits on the ground floor, acting as almost a floor-like illusion for the home. The open atrium architecture combined with glass maximize the visibility in the space.
Malika included a 40-foot retractable hangar door/window that acts as a wall alongside the exterior side of the pool. The hanger opens and closes, essentially making their indoor pool become an outdoor pool with the touch of a button. Malika had to commission the hanger from a company that makes custom hangar doors for airplane hangars. No one had ever put one in a house! They had to also retrofit the hangar wall with custom, duel-paned windows that are graded for weather and insulation. The torque of the hanger had to be calculated into the building schematics itself in order to not pull the house or erode the walls. An engineering challenge unto itself.
When the logistics of where to put the dining room came up, Junaid had the idea to suspend it over their swimming pool to resemble the Star Trek Enterprise space ship. The family loves science fiction and especially Star Trek and Star Wars, so the home boasts many hommage’s to their beloved franchises, including a “Beam Me Up, Scotty” style elevator!
The mosaic tile on the bottom of the pool was custom made by a company out of Boston. They were delivered across the country and placed by hand at the bottom of the pool. Malika chose her favorite painting, The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo, to blend history with the modern style of the home. The hands of God and Adam are perfectly aligned in the center of the pool and suspended directly under the very center of the dining area. The symbolism of using the specific art piece pays tribute to timeless inventors such as Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Both innovators, inventors and artists who left a mark on their generation as well as for many generations to come. Malika hopes to do the same with her work, starting with her own home.