An Energy-Conscious Home Gets Woven Into a Waterfront Landscape

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By Lucy Wang
Passive solar principles, indoor/outdoor living, and a “forever home” mindset are combined in this elegant, art-filled property in Northern California.

On the eastern edge of California’s Tiburon Peninsula, local firm Walker Warner Architects has designed Tiburon Bay View, a contemporary abode named after its sweeping vistas of the San Francisco Bay.

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A bright-red pivot door marks the main entrance, located a half-level below the upper floor.

A bright-red pivot door marks the main entrance, located a half-level below the upper floor.

The clients, a family with a penchant for art and nature, wanted a spacious home with room for entertaining and multi-generational living. To minimize the visual heft of the resulting 12,000-square-foot abode, the architects terraced the two-story property into the hillside.

Vertical planks of western red cedar provide a warm contrast against the horizontal panels of zinc siding.

Vertical planks of western red cedar provide a warm contrast against the horizontal panels of zinc siding.

The series of low-slung horizontal volumes simulate the feeling of a compound. A natural material palette and large expanses of high-performance glazing further blend the architecture into the landscape.

The outdoor terrace is paved with honed basaltina. The teak outdoor sofas arranged around the fire pit are by James Perse.

The outdoor terrace is paved with honed basaltina. The teak outdoor sofas arranged around the fire pit are by James Perse.

"Truly at one with the landscape, the home’s material palette of Aegean limestone, western red cedar, zinc, and board-formed concrete make it feel one with its surroundings," note the architects.

Aegean limestone continues from the exterior to the interior to create an effortless indoor/outdoor connection.

Aegean limestone continues from the exterior to the interior to create an effortless indoor/outdoor connection.

The home has been designed to complement the clients' extensive contemporary art collection. The pendant lighting fixture is by Lindsey Adelman Studio.

The home has been designed to complement the clients' extensive contemporary art collection. The pendant lighting fixture is by Lindsey Adelman Studio.

Interior designer Nicole Hollis further emphasized indoor/outdoor connections with a restrained, minimalist approach along with surface materials and custom furnishings that echo the exterior palette.

Rift-sawn, white-oak wall paneling and engineered European oak flooring lend warmth to the modern home.

Rift-sawn, white-oak wall paneling and engineered European oak flooring lend warmth to the modern home.

A custom bronze divider by artist Michele Oka Doner screens the formal dining room from the entry. The chandelier is by Lindsey Adelman Studio.

A custom bronze divider by artist Michele Oka Doner screens the formal dining room from the entry. The chandelier is by Lindsey Adelman Studio.

Oriented toward views of the bay, the main residence is split into two levels with the main living areas on the ground floor. 

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In the open great room, large glass doors from Fleetwood Windows & Doors blur the boundary between indoors and out.

In the open great room, large glass doors from Fleetwood Windows & Doors blur the boundary between indoors and out.

The master suite and second bedroom are located upstairs, while the accessible in-law bedroom is placed on the main level. The guest wing houses two additional bedrooms.

Bathed in natural light, the master bedroom with a Holly Hunt walnut bed commands impressive views of the bay. The hanging art is by Kibong Rhee.

Bathed in natural light, the master bedroom with a Holly Hunt walnut bed commands impressive views of the bay. The hanging art is by Kibong Rhee.

The master bath is fitted with custom teak cabinetry and Aged Petit Granit counters.

The master bath is fitted with custom teak cabinetry and Aged Petit Granit counters.

The clients' teenage son was given a more colorful bedroom with an elevated bed and a small climbing wall.

The clients' teenage son was given a more colorful bedroom with an elevated bed and a small climbing wall.

The clients desire for an energy-efficient home lent support for a passive solar approach that includes large roof overhangs over walls of glass, automated solar shades, and an emphasis on natural ventilation. 

To minimize water use, SCDA and Strata Landscape Architecture have designed a native, drought-resistant planting plan with sensor-controlled drip irrigation. The lawn takes up less than 10 percent of the landscape.

To minimize water use, SCDA and Strata Landscape Architecture have designed a native, drought-resistant planting plan with sensor-controlled drip irrigation. The lawn takes up less than 10 percent of the landscape.

Radiant heat has been installed throughout, along with Energy Star appliances, low-flow fixtures, LEDs, and occupancy sensors.

Photovoltaics panels have been installed at the pool house.

Photovoltaics panels have been installed at the pool house.

The architects add: "Inspired by the client’s appreciation for art and nature, the residence incorporates bold architectural moves that convey the element of surprise through unexpected spaces." 

BDDW bar stools are combined with a waterfall-edge Aged Petite Granit kitchen island.

BDDW bar stools are combined with a waterfall-edge Aged Petite Granit kitchen island.

Project Credits:

Architect of Record: Walker Warner Architects / @walkerwarnerarchitects

Builder/ General Contractor: Van Acker Construction

Landscape Design Company: SCDA and Strata Landscape Architecture

Lighting Design: Eric Johnson Associates

Interior Design: NICOLEHOLLIS 

Cabinetry Design/ Installation:  Norris Woodworking