This new 4,500 square foot house is a contemporary,
stacked block, sculptural form designed to respond to conditions on this
isolated and dramatic site. The house balances a low profile with the need to take
advantage of the beautiful valley and mountain views. By placing half of the
building mass partially underground, and turning the other half perpendicular
to the slope, the cantilevered, high-value space partially shades the lower
floor and deck while providing a view across the valley below.
The Living/Dining space was conceived as a void between solid elements and directs cross views through to Mount Tamalpais. The space is enclosed by full-height multi-section sliding doors for a unique indoor-outdoor experience.
The resulting mass combined with smaller scale reveals and shading devices
creates an articulated form that produces an active pattern of shadow, further
reducing the visual impact of the house. At night the windows and central core
will produce a pattern of irregular solids and voids generating a lively background
through the screening trees.
This 330 square foot, satellite adoption center for the Marin Humane Society (MHS) is a test bed for future outposts. Located in a prime but minuscule spot in the Red Hill Mall in San Anselmo, Kitty Corner is part of a generous collaboration with Pet Food Express (PFE). The brief was to provide an attractive location purpose built to aid in the adoption of cats that would complement the concept and high level design of the adjacent PFE. Using MHS’ extensive understanding and best practices for housing and caring for felines, this storefront is filled with examples of careful thought and detailing to help make the cats’ lives comfortable while at the same time displaying them to their best advantage. In the faster paced environment of a retail mall, and away from the main MHS campus, it was essential to balance creating an exciting presence with a comfortable environment that would allow the cats to look and feel their best.
126 Madrona Ave, Belvedere, CA
The Magnolia Farm project involved the total reconstruction of an historic Northern California farmhouse and an addition at the rear of the property.
The original two story structure was built in the 1850’s and is the oldest home on Sonoma, CA’s East Side. At one time it was owned by General Mariano Vallejo. Over time it fell victim to several unfortunate additions, suffered from deferred maintenance and finally was abandoned all together. The original front house is a registered historic landmark and its exterior had to be preserved. The rear additions were literally crumbling so a new addition was constructed.
The original structure was lifted to facilitate construction of a foundation system and to up-grade utilities. The porches and balconies were carefully measured and photographed prior to being completely removed and reconstructed. All siding and interior finishes were removed board by board. The floor plan was modified only slightly, however the kitchen and main living areas were relocated to the addition.
The new structure’s form reflects a barn it faces on the property; but its extensive glazing and translucent roof contrast the enclosed, older buildings. Illuminated at night, the relationship of new and old is revealed as discrete patches of light transition to radiant masses.
Contractor: Andrews and Thornley, Napa, CA Window system: Bloomberg Roof: Kalwall Photographs (new) Sharon Risedorph, (old) Brian Farnsworth, Charles Smith
30 Seafirth Place
This 1950’s 3
bedroom, 2 bath house was in terrible shape when we purchased it in 2009. It’s
in a fabulous location, one lot removed from the San Francisco Bay, with views
of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. There was no operational heat, hot water,
kitchen or complete working bathroom. There were structural issues with the
ridge beam, saggy eaves and the carport was cracked and visibly settled. The
kitchen was poorly arranged and the living room oddly shaped at 11’ by 24’.
We opted to
avoid a time consuming City Design Review hearing by maintaining the existing
footprint and envelope. No area was added to the existing 2,078 square feet. The
carport was enclosed and a few windows changed location, so approvals could be obtained at staff level.
The entire process, design to construction punch list, took about 18 months.
thing we did was to remove the load bearing wall under the center ridge that
divided the house in half and open up the rear wall with a 16’ sliding glass
door. That opened the central part of the house for a new kitchen and new
dining and living areas. An overly large den was converted to a 2nd
master suite, making it a 4/3. The existing master bath was expanded. We also
managed to add a utility room and pantry.
siding, windows and doors were removed. Spray foam insulation was added in the
ceilings and walls. Look closely and you’ll see the new doors and windows are
detailed without casing trimmers and a poplar wall base was set flush with the
wallboard, separated by a small reveal, and painted to match.
shaped Monterey Pines in the front yard, which were diseased and prevented
other plants from thriving, were removed. The small ¼ acre lot was re-graded
and landscaped. We added a front fence of Western Red Cedar to match the new
siding and installed extensive site drainage, landscaping and irrigation
systems. The new driveway and rear patio are salt finished concrete.
The General Contractor was BBC Construction, San Rafael, CA.
Front carport before
Designed as a green in-fill house for the non-nuclear single family, 3422 Hannah is a prototype for narrow, non-conforming urban in-fill lots found in Oakland. Counteracting the narrow plan, adjacent, full-width rooms are arranged to reduce space dedicated to circulation. Controlled views and light are delivered by a two-story, fully-glazed, occupiable light well acting as an interior courtyard.
3422 Hannah was another Verdigris development project.
Photographs by Sharon Risedorph Photography.
4 Underhill involved a small lateral addition to a mid-century residence in Mill Valley, CA. The living spaces were opened up and reworked by removing a central hearth and fireplace. The kitchen is entirely new with custom built cabinets. Additional skylights help achieve an open, airy feel.
Interior design was done by the owner.
this abandoned, historic, concrete building from light industrial use to 22
live-work condominiums preserved an important part of San Francisco’s SOMA past. The unique
development strategy offered raw shell space to buyers who then designed and
constructed their interiors to suit their requirements and budgets. Renovation
to all building systems and strengthening the existing structure for seismic
resistance preceded demising and exterior restoration.
Each unit in the Lighthouse Lofts is unique, designed to maximize the contrast between the existing, aged industrial shell and the contemporary interiors. Spaces flow around new platforms and partitions, creating both dramatic areas and intimate areas of refuge from the urban neighborhood. Large windows and high ceilings are the background for interior landscapes, reinforcing the relationships between past and present, and public and private.
This project was the first of many for Verdigris acting as both architect and developer.
Photo by James Chiang
Photo by James Chiang
Three units are combined in the Lighthouse Lofts to create a 4,000 square foot loft. Existing sand blasted walls frame smooth sculptural forms delineating kitchen, bed and bathrooms. Space flows around and in between forms to provide either intimate or expansive interconnected areas. A translucent fifteen foot high moving wall separates the office from the living area and tucks into a closet when not in place. Careful detailing of steel, glass and wood create a perpetual dialogue between the existing structure and the new use.
The Farnsworth Loft is typical of the three-bay West facing units in the Lighthouse Loft project. Where possible, cross walls were left open and floor depths kept thin to afford natural light to penetrate through to the entry. The mezzanine was located slightly toward the center of the space, allowing full-height ceilings in the entry and bathroom, while a gently curving island opens to a generous living space. Lots of built in storage and ample closets hide clutter.
Lighthouse Lofts Unit 201/202
This corner unit in the Lighthouse Lofts combined two spaces to create a dramatic and bright 2,300 square foot loft. Initially designed as Live/Work space for a professional photographer, a large area was left open for studio space and the windows were fitted with motorized blackout shades. Re-purposed by subsequent owner's, the studio now serves as full-height living and dining areas.
Lighthouse Lofts Unit 102
This unit is one of two designs that Verdigris finished out with the intent of keeping one as our office. The challenge of a grade level unit is to provide light while maintaining privacy from the street. This means keeping the cross walls low and deck construction thin. The rolling window shades are upward acting. By placing the kitchen and stair in the center, dead end circulation is avoided and light penetration occurs under the mezzanine on two sides.
Helen 34 is a twelve-unit loft project in West Oakland. The character and scale of the neighborhood led us to pull the units apart into two distinct smaller structures, one occurring over grade level parking. Rather that being surrounded by individual yards, this configuration creates a usable center court that encourages informal interaction and promotes a sense of ownership. Exterior circulation occurs as a slot through both buildings. Interior mezzanines were located slightly towards the center of the unit to provide dramatic double-height entry and living areas. Partial pre-fabrication helped to keep costs down and shorten the project delivery schedule. Verdigris served a dual roll as architect and developer.
Sharon Risedorph Photography
Sharon Risedorph Photography
A copper roofed porch was added to the rear of this Sonoma house to provide a shaded outdoor room. Coordinating with the existing design elements, the Living Room and Kitchen were expanded into a undifferentiated pool deck. With an outdoor barbecue, pizza oven, fireplace and all-weather television, the reconfigured patio is now the focus of this families extensive entertaining during the long Northern California summer.