Mill Valley Residence / CCS Architecture

  • 12 Apr 2013
  • Houses Selected Works
Courtesy of

Architects: CCS Architecture
Location: Marin, California,
Design Principal: Cass Calder Smith
Project Architect: Sean Kennedy
Interior Design Director: Barbara Vickroy
Designer: Bjoern Steudte
Area: 5,000 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Courtesy of CCS Architecture

Contractor: Pete Kasten/ Kasten Builders.Richmond, DA
Structural Engineer: Weir/Andrewson Associates, Inc. San Rafael, CA
Geotech: Earth Science Consultants. San Rafael, CA
Landscape Designer: Studio Green. San Anselmo, CA
Civil Engineer: Douglas Matteson Consulting. Sausalito, CA

Courtesy of CCS Architecture

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.

Courtesy of CCS Architecture

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 anupper yard and pool.

Courtesy of CCS Architecture

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.

Cite: "Mill Valley Residence / CCS Architecture" 12 Apr 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>
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  • dogboy48

    Sterile, unwelcoming, utilitarian, (“What time does my bus get here?” “Is that the toilet down the hall?” “Unisex, or is there a symbol on the door?”). Bland exterior (Aboxonaboxonabox), bland interiors, apparently relying (unsuccessfully) on the surrounding
    countryside to make them interesting. Small spaces. Horrific cave of a kitchen. Cheesy hanging lamps. A hall/bedroom shot that makes you wonder if that’s a mattress on the bed or an ice cube tray.

    Flat roof (hot mop requiring redo every 10-15 years?), flush windows in exterior walls unprotected by eaves. Skylights nearly level with/in an exposed deck that illuminate an oak-floored (obviously afterthought) ‘studio’below… all in a climatic region experiencing
    nearly 40″ of (occasionally torrential) rain per year, most of it between November & March.
    Didn’t see drain holes in limited shots of the deck rim. If there aren’t any, the height differential between the deck and interior will be problematic.

    Cheap details like the front plain aluminum(?) stairway handrail, bare concrete planters.

    Lots of $$$ spent… more to come to maintain.

  • max

    how is the title a Mill Valley house but it is in Tiburon?