My client’s main goals for her six-acre property on a windy bluff at the edge of a Wildlife Habitat in rural Point Reyes were to expand her living space, to increase her connection with the outdoors, and to shelter her property from the strong and often driving westerly winds. In particular, she wanted to ensure that she could make the most of her breathtaking views and enjoy watching the ever-changing and entertaining wildlife.
My primary design objective was to create a fortress that would shield my client from the wind, while allowing her to enjoy the breathtaking views from every room in the house. In keeping with this, I wanted to blur the separation between the indoor living quarters and the out-of-doors. Early in the process of working together, I also became very aware of the positive impact the path of the sun has on my client’s daily activities, and I made it a priority to incorporate this element into the design of the living area.
I preserved the existing house as a guest wing and added a new, one bedroom, 1,900-square foot personal living area close to the edge of the bluff, which maximizes my client’s 180-degree view.
- *The floor plan of the new building revolves around a three-story circular core, which acts as a lightwell for the entry gallery and for the master bedroom. Throughout the day, the lightwell provides a constant and even source of light to the center of the living area.
- The circular-core design of the new building is reminiscent of a sundial, and its layout corresponds to my client’s daily activities, which also follow the path of the sun, from the east in the morning to the west at the end of her day.
- The three-story circular-core design and its chimney-effect provide natural ventilation and keep the house cool on hot days.
- The third-story lookout deck at the top of the circular core allows my client to enjoy endless neighboring views as well as longer views of Tamales Bay and of the San Andreas fault-line.
- The sustainable design includes Passive Solar, Natural Ventilation and Long Lifecycle materials.