The Gamble House Pasadena, California

The Gamble House Pasadena, California


Perhaps the most iconic house designed by Charles and Henry Greene is the 1908 Gamble House in Pasadena, California. The detail intense, low slung timbered home with deep roof eaves was in the signature style popularized by Greene & Greene during the early years of the 20th century. When Thomas & Denzinger was commissioned to design a new home in Briars Creek on Johns Island, the client expressed an interest in a style of architecture reminiscent of the Greene Brothers work.

The property is heavily wooded site that fronts a lake to the south. A winding drive leads through a grove of grand trees and terminates at a cleared opening on a rise overlooking the lake. The “U” shaped plan is organized around an interior courtyard. One single story wing paralles the lake and holds the living area and master bedroom suite. A two story second wing on the opposite side of the interior courtyard has guest suites, an office and media room. An open center stair rises within a tower and ends at a small “away” room that commands a view of the garden, the site and the lake beyond. A two story screen porch accessed from the living area and kitchen provides ample area for outdoor dining and entertainment. A companion screen porch off the master suite bookends a stone terrace, the beginning point of a terraced transition down to the lake.

The interior courtyard is patterned after Japanese Zen gardens. Lush greenery embraces a cascading stream water feature that runs the length of the garden and spills into a Koy pond. During clement weather the rooms adjacent to the courtyard can be opened up to the sound of the water tumbling through the rocks of the stream channel.

The exterior of the house is repleat with exposed heavy timber, cedar shingles, casement windows and a copper roof. The deep roof eaves provide abundant shade and protection from the weather. Timber trellis sun “screens” were introduced along the south facing windows overlooking the lake. The three bedroom home, completed in 2008, was built by Steve Koenig Construction.

Briars Creek Residence

The lakeside elevation with terraced garden steps down to a stone patio/dock.

Deep eaves, cedar shingles and heavy timber recall the Greene Brothers style.

A timber shade trellis protects the south facing wall of windows.

Interior wood stairs looking down from the Tower Room.

A stylized copper chimney cap nods to the stone version on the Gamble House.

Heavy timber trusses highlight the ceilings in select interior spaces.

The Japanese Garden provides a private space for reflection.


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