Peak Pivot

The long narrow lot had direct views into the neighborhood. Working with the architects it was clear a change its orientation was needed to not only create privacy but also capture the distant views west to Mt Tamalpais. The 30 feet of elevation change was a major consideration to contend with. As with any constraint, these opportunities made for a unique and captivating design.

The orientation of the building provided the framework for the site design to respond to. The retaining walls echo this angle as they step up the hill to the house. Within each terrace,  garden spaces unfold as one moves to the front door. The firepit wall of the entertainment patio mirrors  this geometry and frames the view to the mountain. When sitting, the height of the wall removes all views to the neighbors’ rooftops for both the patio and the main living room inside the house. 

The water-conscious project includes native grasses, perennials, shrubs, and fruit trees; strategically placed Japanese maples with their sculptural forms act as colorful focal points. In the front and back gardens, concrete stepping stones are interplanted with creeping thyme for unexpected scent. A simple materials palette establishes a quiet, spa-like experience, leaving the focus on the mountain view beyond.

Architecture offices involved in the design: Feldman Architecture

Project Location: Corte Madera, California, USA

Design year: Completed, 2019

Year Built: 2019

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