Two Eichlers Featured on Silicon Valley Tour

The firm M110 Architecture remodeled this Eichler home that will be on the tour. Photography by J. Clark/Modern Home Tours

Five modern homes, including two re-imagined Eichlers, will open their doors to the paying public on Saturday, April 12. The Silicon Valley Modern Home Tour will also offer attendees the chance to meet the architects behind the homes and attend the first-ever Silicon Valley Contemporary Art Fair.

The tour will also benefit Vision Literacy, a nonprofit organization that teaches people in the South Bay and the Peninsula to read, as well as providing technology skills. Vision Literacy’s services are provided free. To provide Vision Literacy with a share of your ticket purchase, and to get $5 off your tickets, tour goers should use a promotional code available on Vision Literacy’s Facebook page.

Modern Home Tours is a for-profit company based in Austin that runs modern home tours frequently, in cities across the country. It often partners with nonprofits in an effort to spread the word. CA-Modern wrote about the growth of modern home tours, and about the company, back in 2013.

The tour will include five houses, fewer than is often on their tours, says Ingrid Spencer, the architectural writer who chose the homes for the tour. That’s because the organizers want people to “pack up early to go to the contemporary art fair.” There they can mingle with the architects at a VIP lounge.

Spencer says the goal was to show how modernism developed in the area and is continuing to develop. She grew up in Sunnyvale and had friends who lived in Eichlers, so she knows the homes well and loves them, she says.

“We’re centering [the tour] on Menlo Park, Atherton, and Palo Alto,” she said. “If we don’t get an Eichler or two there, we’re missing something.”

The firm SAW designed this modernistic ranch that will also be on the tour. Photography by J. Clark/Modern Home Tours

The other homes, all recent construction, show the “next level” of modernism, she says, citing a Menlo Park home by Spiegel Aihara Workshop.

“I think it’s beautifully done,” she says. [Dan Spiegel] takes the traditional forms of the ranch house and pushes it to the next level with environmental, sustainable features. It’s kind of a long and lean house. It’s low and narrow and set into this beautiful landscape. Like an Eichler, it has a wall of glass it’s one story, and made of natural materials. But it’s also of its time.”

“They’re all beautiful homes,” she says of the houses on the tour.

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