Postmodern Masterpiece


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A Milanese Master
Jolts Silicon Valley

In 2001, iconic Italian designer and Memphis Group legend Ettore Sottsass built a custom home for his close friend, David Kelley, co-founder of Ideo and Stanford's Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (commonly referred to as the The home was built to challenge your sense of convention while still providing an intimate and functional dwelling. 


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“The structure is not only an unadulterated expression of Sottsass's design philosophy, but also a reflection of Sottsass and Kelley's friendship.” Dwell Magazine, April 2017

Main Home - 6886sf | Guest House - 1364sf | Property - 4.93 acres




On approximately 5 acres, the property includes a state-of-the-art equestrian center, perimeter riding trails, and easy access to the Woodside trail system. The Main home has five pavilions linked by a sunny atrium, giving way to a spacious guesthouse and equestrian facilities with riding arena, caretaker's cottage and stables.


Expansive Property


World-Renowned Design


Equestrian Facilities


Indoor & Outdoor Entertaining Areas

Property Site Plan

(Click to enlarge)



Designer Ettore Sottsass

Ettore Sottsass was a pivotal Italian architect and industrial designer in late 20th century. Best known as the founder of the early 1980s Memphis collective, he designed furniture, buildings, glass, ceramics, jewelry, and industrial products. In 1981, his Memphis Group was heralded as the future of design.


“Functionalism is not enough.
Design should also be sensual and exciting.”
- Ettore Sottsass



Sottsass’s work has been the focus of a number of exhibitions, auctions and retrospectives:

• 1972 “The New Domestic Landscape”

Museum of Modern Art, New York 2006 “Ettore Sottsass” Museum of Art, Los Angeles

• 2007 “Ettore Sottsass — Work in Progress”

Design Museum, London 2016 “David Bowie/Collector” Sotheby’s, London

• 2017 “Ettore Sottsass, Design Radical”

Metropolitan Museum of Art


Significance of the Property

Ettore Sottsass is one of the most influential designers of the century and David Kelley has built the world's most celebrated design firm. But more than an ocean and a generation separates these two creative iconoclasts: Kelley is an unpretentious engineer from blue-collar Ohio who enjoys nothing more than a good tuna melt. Sottsass is the epitome of the Italian designer—mercurial, oracular, and slightly mischievous. Sottsass does not know what to make of Americans who eat fish out of cans (and then put cheese on it). Yet they remain the best of friends.

So Kelley, flush with the success of his design firm, IDEO, asked Sottsass to build him a house in the horsey foothills of Silicon Valley, and Sottsass agreed. What followed was an elaborate courtship as the 80-something Italian architect and the 50-something American client, each of whom casts a long shadow across twentieth-century design, circled and sparred, thrust and parried, and together created an extraordinary house.

The friendship between Kelley and Sottsass goes back a couple of decades, to the glory days of Siliconia when money was not the only thing on everyone’s minds and interesting people were naturally gravitating toward each other. Kelley had just founded what was then David Kelley Design and a mutual friend—Was it Steve Jobs? Was it Johnny Pigozzi?— suggested that he seek out the legendary architect who had just jolted Milan’s fashionable design world with the opening of Memphis...


David Kelley Discusses Sottsass's Design

(Click any image for a video tour of that feature)

About Ettore Sottsass

About Ettore Sottsass

Outside Entry & Atrium

Outside Entry & Atrium

The Backyard

The Backyard

The Living Room

The Living Room

The Kitchen

The Kitchen

The Office

The Office

The Master Bedroom

The Master Bedroom

The Bedroom Suite

The Bedroom Suite

The Pool

The Pool


Articles about 1250 Cañada Road



The Neighborhood

1250 CaÑada Road is situated in the Central Woodside neighborhood.  Central Woodside is the most exclusive part of Woodside with large, sunny, very private properties, with many close to town and in the Woodside Elementary School District. Horse owners enjoy the network of trails that runs through the area.


Woodside, CA

Woodside residents value secluded outdoor living while enjoying a strong sense of community. Separated from the ocean by the Santa Cruz Mountains, towering redwoods dominate its western hills, with oaks and eucalyptus in the lower areas. Residents value its privacy, access to nature, large parcels of land and diverse architecture.
Settlers arrived in the early nineteenth century to log the rich stands of redwoods. Later, prosperous San Francisco families built country estates in Woodside with regular stagecoach service to San Francisco established in 1852. Farms, small cattle ranches and vineyards replaced the sawmills and its hillsides and steep ravines are now filled with vines, tended by notable winemakers such as Thomas Fogarty. Rapid growth after World War II alarmed local residents, who feared that their rural haven would be transformed into an urban area. Residents incorporated in 1956 to retain local control and stop urbanization.
This town of just over 5,000 enjoys a rural lifestyle with local trails, horse properties, open space preserves, an artists’ colony and summer jazz at the beautiful Filoli Garden. Popular cycling routes draw cyclists in droves on the weekends along Cañada Road, Old La Honda Road, Kings Mountain Road, Skyline Boulevard and Highway 84. Woodside is also home to several open space preserves, including Purisima Open Space, Huddart County Park, the Phleger Estate and Skeggs Point.
The small business district includes Roberts Market, a hardware and horse tack store, and a few restaurants, including the iconic Buck’s of Woodside, where many venture capital deals have been inked. Woodside is home to a mix of Silicon Valley movers and shakers – CEOs and venture capitalists, as well as famed musicians and artists.

Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is a leading hub for high-tech innovation and development. Historically, it produced technological wonders by companies that defined the high technology industry, beginning with semiconductor businesses and research groups. These companies, anchored by Stanford University, formed an ecosystem in which later innovators could thrive: Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, and many more. Thousands of start-up companies currently call Silicon Valley home.