New Hillside Residence, Warner Canyon/Kite Hill, Mill Valley
The foundation for this residence started in June 2018. It has been a challenging project due to a landslide that occurred on the property years ago.
This steeply sloping site has great views across the canyons as well as to San Francisco. The challenge was how to meet required height and floor area regulations (only 2000sf + garage) and still design a residence that would be easy to live in as well as one which connects to the side yard and rear yard spaces.
A long exterior stair takes you down 20’ from street level. The main level has the “public” living spaces only. The LR wall is canted toward the view and there is a small BBQ patio o of the dining area. At the lower level are 3 bedrooms as well as an open space with a hallway which opens side to side to bring in natural light at both ends in order to reduce the subterranean feel.
Following the commissions direction we have moved the whole house up the hill. The scheme presented at the site study session was a garage then a gap, and then two levels (living level and bedroom level). The current proposal is a garage, a living level where the gap had been, a bedroom level and another bedroom level below.
We have broken up the program and added an additional level at the bottom. One implication of this is a minor increase to floor area to provide for the additional circulation requirements. Given that the new scheme has a smaller footprint than the previous scheme, we believe that the increase to floor area is consistent with the Design Guidelines.
Where it was feasible, we have endeavored to cantilever the house out to minimize footprint. In the previous scheme, the lowest level was the widest and the upper level was narrower. Now it is the opposite. The new organization pulls the whole house to within the double setback lines with smaller, partial elements that cantilever out from that (the dining area, entry, and stair assembly).
The exterior materials are chosen for their natural colors: two tones of cedar siding, accents of corten steel at the canted forms, along with metal sun controlling louvers at the large window expanses.
This house went under construction April 2018.