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Outside-In House


This 1950s Marin County home, designed and built in the Eichler tradition, occupies 1,700 sf on a wooded hilltop site. The owner sought to expand the house that would be open and playful in its design, yet retain the home’s original design sensibility and extensive use of glass.
Pfau Long designed a 600 sf addition that grows from the home’s inherent geometry and preserves much of the existing structure. Relying on the simple clarity of its design, the interior structure is exposed, including wood beams, structural steel, custom steel brackets, and a “floating” steel stair. The house is open between rooms with no conventional definition of space. In the new master bedroom, the walls stop short of the ceiling, with glass panels inserted above, creating upward views through the treetops as if in a treehouse.

The outdoors become an extension of the indoors via full-height glass walls and an open floor plan. The home’s transparency creates the illusion of uninterrupted, boundless space with views extending from the dramatic double height entry, through the house, to the wooded valley beyond.