This project started as a bit of a unicorn—a previously undeveloped lot in Mill Valley with views of Tiburon, Belvedere, and San Francisco. But even unicorns aren’t perfect, and this lot had only a small buildable envelope on level ground and then sloped quickly down towards the bay. With only one story allowed on the level portion of the lot, the challenge became making an architectural statement from the street in 14’ of height or less, while the hillside portion could be two stories facing the water and views.
The front of the house grabs curbside attention with a large, sloping shed roof that extends dramatically over the front porch. Once inside, the house opens to the outdoors, playing to the views, with plentiful windows, decks, and accordion doors on the southeast corner that blur the line between indoors and out. The house’s modern lines and layout are rusticized by beautiful woods like the unadorned hickory doors and walnut screen at the entry. The home has become a sanctuary from the nonstop professional world, and—during COVID, at least—a peaceful place from which to face it.