This small 4600 square foot lot is wedged between the heavily wooded Redwood Lodge site, west of downtown Mill Valley, and larger single-family properties. Most homebuyers would want a lot with the potential for a house larger than 1600 square feet; our clients, a family from Los Angeles, considered this restraint luxurious coming from a 1500 square foot bungalow in Venice Beach.
Our client’s goal was to build a fire-safe, sustainable, non-wood house, and the major tenet was “small is beautiful.” The existing cottage was beyond repair and was removed. Our challenge was to tuck in amongst the redwood trees and build a foundation that floated above the tree roots. Accessing natural light was paramount as was capturing the views across the borrowed landscape of the Redwood Lodge property.
In just 1600 square feet, we provided three bedrooms and three full baths, and a high-volume central living and circulation space. Outdoor decks extend the small interior spaces to the exterior such that the house feels and lives twice as large.
Exterior materials include cement board siding, bronze metal inverted Corten standing seams, and Hardiboard siding, all in tonal ranges, blending amongst the redwoods and adding a certain modern cottage elegance to the exterior.