Tech bigwig Andrew Bosworth’s contemporary abode marries innovation with daily life
When passionate environmentalist and Bay Area native Andrew Bosworth and his wife, April, decided to build a home on a double lot in San Mateo, it was a collaborative affair. He was game to push the envelope, while April pressed for a house that was colorful and livable. Together with the minds of Jim Miller of Oculus Architecture and Design and interior designer Jay Jeffers, the resulting home is a case in point for out-of-the-box architecture, while still being warm and comfortable for the Bosworths’ family of four.
Andrew—who goes by “Boz”—is a familiar persona in the tech world. A veteran Facebook executive, he is credited with the platform’s News Feed, Messenger and Groups products and its ads business, and currently works as the vice president of virtual reality and augmented reality at the organization. For him, taking risks is pretty much de rigueur—a quality that shows in the architecture dreamed up by Miller and greenlit by his dauntless client.
It’s a home of big, bold gestures. Just the pouring of the concrete foundation took nearly a year out of the three-year build. The 39-by-19-foot pool is bound by two infinity edges and sits perched over the 45-degree hillside. A hot tub with Plexiglas end walls hangs 35 feet in the air. “We call it the tree-tub,” quips Boz. An “air stair” of steel, wood and glass bisects the public and the private rooms, and acts as a major design feature. Sliding glass pocket doors open up large chunks of the 6,000-square-foot house to the elements.
Jeffers was brought in once the architectural design was nearly complete. “There was a need to balance out those aggressive statements with an organic feel,” he says. “We wanted it to be indoor-outdoor, contemporary modern, but not too slick.” The designer’s team brought in patterned rugs, furnishings with geometric shapes and organic, California-centric materials, with the help of the architect, to give the home texture and a sense of warmth.
In the great room, the furniture is substantial—nothing too dainty. A Holly Hunt sofa has a deep, inviting seat; the side chairs by Ironies incorporate curves. The Jiun Ho coffee table is made out of sandblasted oak with imperfect edges. “We wanted to juxtapose the architecture a little bit,” Jeffers says. The galley kitchen is encased in bronze. Rooms such as the master and the playroom-office are accented with color and texture, a multicolored Kyle Bunting hair-on-hide on the walls, and headboards upholstered in a deep navy felt.
Throughout the house, the couple added photography by Ansel Adams—a passion point for Boz. The Saratoga native grew up on a horse ranch and spent his family vacations camping in the national parks that Adams photographed. Adams’ legendary darkroom prowess and environmental activism also appealed. (Boz is involved with the Peninsula Open Space Trust.) The house is certified LEED Gold, using gray water for all irrigation (no need to use city water for the plants year-round), rainwater is used for the toilets when available, a living roof adds additional insulation, and all of the heating and cooling is radiant.
For Boz, the study is his refuge, and Jeffers’ team took the themes they had worked with throughout the house and amped them up a notch. They selected Moyasu cypress walls charred using the Japanese technique shou sugi ban, and went big with a leather rug, wall pieces, vintage chair and pillows. The art is clever, tongue-in-cheek: a charcoal drawing of consecutive frames by Gonzalo Fuenmayor, and a photograph of a bookshelf by Phil Shaw. “The study is a masculine space—we just went for it and I love it,” he says. “It’s cozy and focused and unapologetically what it is.”
Photography by MATTHEW MILLMAN.
Written by ELIZABETH KHURI CHANDLER.