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Postmodern Silicon Valley home designed by Ettore Sottsass asks $14.9 million

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Built for IDEO founder David Kelly, this Woodside house is broken up into six different pavilions

postmodern exterior of woodside home featuring shingles and brick. Photos by Bernard André

Italian-born Ettore Sottsass was an influential industrial designer, best known for his whimsical, bright-colored, geometric furnishings—e..g., bookshelves, cabinets, tables, penis-shaped flower vases—but he was also a gifted architect.

The former Memphis design group leader designed only three Sottsass residences in the United States. This sprawling circa-2000 home, nestled in the tony town of Woodside, was built especially for IDEO chairman and co-founder David Kelley.

No stranger to design himself, Kelley’s company created many notable tech gadgetry like the first mouse for Apple, the first Palm Treo, and the thumbs up/thumbs down button on Tivo’s remote control.

In 2016, Kelley told Surface how the his collaboration with Sottsass unfolded:

I always say I didn't have any choice in which architect to use. Sottsass would have killed me if I didn't have him design my house. I met him through [venture capitalist and art collector] Jean Pigozzi, who I had met through Steve Jobs. Jean and I were sitting in my office one time, and he said, "You have to meet Ettore!"It was like he had some epiphany that the two of us would get along, and we did. In '82, at the [Salone del Mobile] furniture fair, the year after the Memphis Group began, I met Ettore.

The resulting abode is both original and very specific. Sottsass created a home comprised of six pavilions with terraces, connected by a glass atrium.

Each pavilion is "completely different," says Kelley. "A different shape, a different material, and a different attitude." For example, one features a barrel-vaulted home office, while a combined kitchen-living-dining room is broken up with an array of human-sized cabinets.

Located at 1250 Cañada Road on a 4.93-acre lot, the clearly contemporary home comes with four beds, six and a half baths, and approximately 8,250 square feet. It features a working equestrian center complete with stables, tack room, birthing shed, barn, and riding ring.

Asking is $14,995,000.