New Residence in Mill Valley

This very difficult infill site in the hills of Mill Valley in Marin County offered many challenges. An old 1920’s cottage that stood at one end could not be salvaged. Two off-street parking spaces were required by the City where none previously existed. None of the neighbors wanted to lose their view of Mt. Tam. Furthermore, the small site could only hold a 2200sf residence.

Taking cues from the cottages of Bay Region architect, Bernard Maybeck, the house forms an L-shape tucked into the corner of the site. Simple materials of colored windows and board and batt siding are used. The only garage solution was to dig it into the hillside. Taking advantage of the newly created flat area over the roof, an outdoor play space was developed and serves as a podium for the main level. Inside, the public space is taller than the average storey height to increase a sense of volume in the small great room. The short leg of the L is a two storey bedroom wing. The various heights of the flat roof (designed to maintain neighbor views) add volume and light where needed inside. The facade colors break down the building mass to create an elegant cabin on the hill.

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