Louis Corbetta 'Parasol' house in Los Altos



During the early 1960, Louis Corbetta, a retired 60 year old, decided to build an iconic party house for friends and neighbors in the Los Altos Hills. He had worked in heavy construction and four years earlier moved his family to Los Altos because it was "one of the most beautiful places in the country". At the time, Los Altos Hills was sparsely populated and he had to build a private road to the location and constructed a parking lot for guests. Next to the house, he constructed a half-acre lake that was stocked with 250 fish for recreational catching.



From a Palo Alto Times article on September 21, 1960.

The roof and the floor are built of 16 separate sections of concrete, It is held in place by a concrete column sunk deep into the earth. Corbetta says the roof alone weighs 32 tons. He calls it a *giant lampshade." When it is competed, two thirds of the circular structure will be glassed in and will provide a view in nearly every direction.
CORBETTA says about 40 persons can be accommodated for parties. The building will include full kitchen facilities, a bar and rest rooms. In the center of the structure will be a circular fireplace and hearth.
The building is 40 feet in diameter and is located a short distance from the Corbetta home at 25850 Vinedo Lane. The use of the materials in the circular house are a recent development, Corbetta says molds for the roof and floor are made of quartz, white silica sand and white cement giving a sparkling effect in the rays of the sun.

The House was featured in a Life photo essay October 19, 1962.



The lake and circular house are on about 20 acres, most of which are now being landscaped. Part of the land will be planted to an orchard.

Unsurprisingly given Corbetta's former profession, the house was engineered to withstand extreme natural distasters.

A current one is directing the completion of his recreation center. He has planned it carefully and expects the concrete house to withstand nearly any disaster., including hurricanes and earthquakes. The circular house is engineered to hold up under 100 mph winds or severe earth shocks.

According to the Los Altos Hills, the Parasol house is part of the heritage inventory and was rebuilt in 1998.


Architecturally unique. Composed of three identical structures with scalloped parasols. The first one built as a "party house" to entertain guests. Three years later, the other two were added to complete the nine-room house, which is surrounded by a man-made lake. Rebuilt in 1998.

Map



Sources


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