This 5,000-square-foot house in Mill Valley was designed as a home for an empty-nester couple. The site was the inspiration and the guiding element for the architecture: vast views of Mt. Tamalpais, intimate connections to groves of redwood trees, and a steep incline. Given its location, stepping up the hillside and squeezed between redwoods, the home is stratified into three levels. The lower floor is built into the hillside, while the upper two are open to daylight and views.

The first floor includes the garage, entry, painting studio, gallery, and guest quarters. The entry is a two-story space with a staircase leading up to the second floor—the main living level--which connects to the outside with views in many directions. This double-height space, the spatial core of the house, has a large bay of windows focused on a grove of redwood trees just 10 feet away. The top floor contains two bedrooms, a home office, and a ramped bridge that leads to an upper yard and pool.

Natural copper is the primary exterior material, wrapping the second floor of the house to emphasize the location of the main living spaces. Walls below the second level are exposed concrete; those above are cement plaster. The interior evokes the feeling of a gallery in the country, with white walls, expanses of glass, and wide-plank oak floors.

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Modern home with Exterior, House Building Type, Metal Siding Material, Concrete Siding Material, and Flat RoofLine. copper & concrete facade Photo  of Mt. Tam HouseView Photos

copper & concrete facade

Modern home with Exterior, Concrete Siding Material, House Building Type, Metal Roof Material, Metal Siding Material, and Flat RoofLine. Detail of copper facade Photo 2 of Mt. Tam HouseView Photos

Detail of copper facade

Modern home with Dining Room, Table, Light Hardwood Floor, Chair, and Pendant Lighting. Dining room with intimate connections to groves of redwood trees Photo 5 of Mt. Tam HouseView Photos

Dining room with intimate connections to groves of redwood trees

Modern home with Bedroom, Table Lighting, Night Stands, Bed, Ceiling Lighting, and Carpet Floor. master bedroom Photo 6 of Mt. Tam HouseView Photos

master bedroom

Modern home with Exterior, Stucco Siding Material, House Building Type, and Flat RoofLine. The ramped bridge that leads to an upper yard and pool Photo 11 of Mt. Tam HouseView Photos

The ramped bridge that leads to an upper yard and pool

Modern home with Outdoor, Trees, Grass, Swimming Pools, Tubs, Shower, Back Yard, Concrete Patio, Porch, Deck, and Flowers. The ramped bridge that leads to an upper yard and pool Photo 12 of Mt. Tam HouseView Photos

The ramped bridge that leads to an upper yard and pool

Modern home with Exterior, Stucco Siding Material, Flat RoofLine, Concrete Siding Material, and House Building Type. Exterior facade from yard side Photo 13 of Mt. Tam HouseView Photos

Exterior facade from yard side

Modern home with Exterior, Stucco Siding Material, House Building Type, Metal Siding Material, Concrete Siding Material, and Flat RoofLine. Facade at dusk from street Photo 15 of Mt. Tam HouseView Photos

Facade at dusk from street

Modern home with Exterior, Metal Siding Material, Flat RoofLine, House Building Type, and Concrete Siding Material. detail of facade at dusk Photo 16 of Mt. Tam HouseView Photos

detail of facade at dusk

Modern home with Exterior, Metal Siding Material, House Building Type, Flat RoofLine, and Concrete Siding Material. Copper and concrete facade at dusk, street side Photo 17 of Mt. Tam HouseView Photos

Copper and concrete facade at dusk, street side

Interior Design
Landscape Design
  • Studio Green
Builder
  • Kasten Builders
Photographer
  • Paul Dyer

Overview

Year
  • 2011
  • Square Feet
  • 5000