Several tricks we learned along the way from our great mentors helped us to design a house that feels spacious and airy in a very tight spot--the lot itself is only 1900 SF and on it we also had to accommodate parking. This house used standard off the shelf fir framing woods throughout but it was sandblasted before the few finishes were added. There is precious little in this structure that is not exposed and visible in some way. The basic bones of the building are full story of the architecture and every square inch mattered. This was nearly an exercise in boat building and is a prime example of the kind of work we like to do--regardless of the materials and grammar we may choose in the future.
Aside from Studio 300A, the design team included interior designer Jill Phillips and our artist client. All three of us contributed ideas which played off each other's solutions in very simple and soulful ways. As a result, we ended in a far better place with this house than any one of us expected.
And we think the original architect would be very pleased indeed.
These images are taken at about 95% project completion, which is why they are detail images. More to come.
The trick here was to add to one house, some 30 years later, a weather protected area for your arrival at the house, either on foot or by vehicle. We wanted something that gave some life and interest while also feeling the need to work with the vocabulary of the painfully dull houses of this development. This solution was extremely affordable, lightweight and did not create a dark cave through which you would have to pass to get to the house.
This is just such a project. The site here is intensely windy, even when sunny, so the intent here was to capture sun and shed wind. We began by terracing out the hill with board formed concrete retaining walls that formed planters at different levels which are viewable from different parts of the house and yard. Then built a fence, a trellis and a low-slung translucent shelter over a new sitting area and fireplace. We aligned key exterior elements with key interior elements and made the house a bit more porous and open near the new exterior spaces so there was a visual connection between the two year around. Exterior spaces greatly affect interior spaces--even in the winter when it may be too cold to be outside, so their relationship is very important.
The last image is of what we believe to be happy clients finally at rest.
With special thanks to Eileen Kelley of Dig Your Garden, for the wonderful planting plan.
The wild history of the old Barrel House is local lore only and forgotten by now by most. Yet the owners wanted to hold on to the funky wildness of this unique place. Our task was to completely renovate the building and to add a master suite without robbing this place of its NorCal coastal grammar.
Working with contractor Phil Kline (as we so often do) and cabinetmaker Ryan MacMurray we set about on a many-year make-over.
Zinc, Redwood and colored concrete were the primary materials, with lots of Douglas Fir doors, cabinetry, shelves and built-in furniture all handmade by Ryan.
And with arcing retaining walls, we created gardens and an outdoor living space as well.