Curb Appeal: The Architectural Story of Celestia and Mystral at Skyline
With views stretching to the horizon and starry skies twinkling overhead, Skyline is a place that will make you think about endless possibilities. So when it was time to create the architecture for Celestia and Mystral, architect Dave Kosco at Bassenian Lagoni knew he had to think big. As in ‘grand sweep of California history’ big that reflects the roots and story of the Golden State itself. What better way to pay tribute to such an epic hilltop location? We talked to Kosco to learn more about the inspiration behind Celestia and Mystral’s architectural flair. Here’s what he had to say about the three eye-catching styles (And give us a history lesson along the way!)
Q: What California story did you want to tell with the architecture at Celestia and Mystral?
A: Over the course of its history, California’s architecture has evolved and changed, reflecting the movement of people from different cultures and backgrounds across the state in response to events like the gold rush, statehood, or the arrival of the railroads. We wanted to capture and represent significant moments in that history, which led us to Spanish, Ranch and Farmhouse styles for the architecture at Celestia and Mystral.
Q: What features are characteristic of the Spanish architectural style at Celestia and Mystral?
A: We used materials and details that remain true to their original indigenous precedent. You’ll find lightly colored stucco walls with ‘S’ tile roofs, arched entries, exposed wooden rafter tails, shutters, and for the most part, gable-roof forms.
Q: When did Ranch and Farmhouse styles style begin to appear in California?
A: With agriculture and migration changing California’s economic fortunes, wealthier East Coast migrants started making their way across the country, bringing with them a taste for colonial architecture. Ranch and Farmhouse design both stem from this change. Ranch style incorporates some elements from the original Spanish style, while Farmhouse became more individualized, reflecting the fact that most farmhouses were built by the farmers themselves with the help of their community and neighbors.
Q: How did you define the Ranch style architecture at Celestia and Mystral?
A: There are numerous style signatures associated with Ranch architecture. The silhouette is generally lower and more horizontal, with shallow pitched gable roofs and gable end outlookers. You’ll find horizontal wood siding painted in light and dark hues, stucco walls, and board-and-batt accent siding. Shutters appear at windows and the window trim is kept simple.
Q: What is Farmhouse architecture like at Celestia and Mystral?
A: Farmhouse style is very eclectic, which we reflected in board-and-batt vertical siding painted in richer hues with contrasting stucco walls. You’ll see flat-tiled steep-cross gable roofs, and lots of ornamentation associated with the vertical single-hung windows, including decorative mullions, simple window trim, and accent shutters.