Claremont, San Diego, CA

Bay View Lot 5 is the most recent design in a series of houses for long time client Dr. Bill Longwell and his business partner Gary Persichino of Bay View Development Company. The first few houses designed for these clients were produced mainly to sell the lots to other clients in addition to seeding the custom home neighborhood for future development. Lot 5 is the largest and most captivating of the properties with its panoramic views out to the canyon and beyond to the Pacific Ocean. The lot has hilly terrain and faces the canyon to the north. After working with the client for several years, and gaining their trust, they were open to an innovative design that took advantage of the unique topography of the site.


Riding the natural curvature of the landscape, a series of continuous roof and balcony elements and planes fold, undulate, and step-back to provide three stories of tiered floors that face out to the commanding views. The wrap around balconies, patios, retaining walls, stairs, and roof elements merge with the landscape—grounding the design in the natural surroundings. The folded roof elements create a shell that hugs the ground while gesturing towards the views, in addition to providing a cantilevering entry portico that shades the extensive south facing windows. Protected views extend clear through the house from the street out to the canyon where extensive glass windows face northwest. The canyon is visible from most every room, hallway, and stairwell in the home. The plan interior to the wrapping exterior surfaces flows along the expanse of the canyon. Every room shifts in plan towards the western bay views.


On the main floor, there is a double-height living area with stair and balcony open to a dining and sitting area that open out to the wrap-around balconies. The kitchen, breakfast area, and family room are all open to the flow of the canyon, and lead out to the balcony. On the top-floor, two bedrooms can serve as one large master suite and exercise room with private balconies. On the bottom floor, there is a game room and two bedroom suites adjacent to the garden, patio, and spa. Open to all floors through the central living space is access to a rooftop balcony that commands uninterrupted views of San Diego.

Principal Designer and Architect: 

Stephen Phillips, AIA, Ph.D

Project Team: 

Cam Helland, Stephen Becker, and Katsu Shigemi


Michael Mesri Engineers (Structural)
BEC Associates (Title 24)
Draper Engineering (Civil)
Prism Plumbing Corp (Plumbing)
University Mechanical (Mechanical)
ASI Hastings Inc (Mechanical)