A 1950s Home Honors its Past While Becoming a Sustainable Oasis

01.04.21 | By
A 1950s Home Honors its Past While Becoming a Sustainable Oasis

The San Anselmo Residence is a project designed for an architect which involved an existing 1950s house up on a tree-filled hilltop in Marin County. Pfau Long Architecture, the residential studio of Perkins&Will, kept the original structure but updated it and expanded it to 2800 square feet while transforming it into an eco-friendly home. A new wing was added to the existing footprint to add two bedrooms and a new kitchen and family room.

They kept the structure’s system of ashlar masonry walls and added new masonry elements that tie into the original walls and anchor the new section. Floor-to-ceiling, insulated glass panels visually expand the interior to the outdoors while framing the verdant views.

Built and updated to be a low energy green structure, the residence features photo-voltaic panels, solar domestic/hydronic heating, solar pool heating, gray water system, and recycled blue jean insulation.

The new, central kitchen opens up to both the new family room and the dining/living room area from the original house.

The interior feels modern yet cozy with its exposed structure of painted steel beams, Douglas fir panels and glulam beams, along with stone work and polished concrete floorsl

Caroline Williamson is Editor-in-Chief of Design Milk. She has a BFA in photography from SCAD and can usually be found searching for vintage wares, doing New York Times crossword puzzles in pen, or reworking playlists on Spotify.