Atherton Residence / Turnbull Griffin Haesloop

© David Wakely Photography
© David Wakely Photography

Location: Atherton, California,
Architect: Turnbull Griffin Haesloop – Eric Haesloop, FAIA and Mary Griffin, FAIA, John Kleman, Evan Markiewicz, Jule Tsai
Interiors: Margaret Turnbull Simon, ASID of
Landscape Architects: Lutsko Associates
Engineer: Mike Forbes, Fratessa Forbes Wong
Lighting: Eric Johnson, Eric Johnson Associates
General Contractor: Carter Seddon, Carter Seddon Construction
Year: 2008
Photographer: David Wakely, David Wakely Photography

© David Wakely Photography
© David Wakely Photography

Located on the peninsula south of San Francisco, this house sits on an internal suburban flag lot. The previous 1950’s house, which was removed due to structural problems, featured mature landscaping and a manmade pond that the clients wanted to preserve. They wanted their new house to be a private retreat that maximizes the drama of the pond and takes advantage of the privacy of the site. As advocates of year round outdoor dining and entertaining, the clients wanted a house that would open up to the landscape and have as many outdoor rooms as possible.

© David Wakely Photography
© David Wakely Photography
© David Wakely Photography
© David Wakely Photography

The design solution breaks the program into four buildings – main house, study, pool house and garage – that ring the edge of the site and focus inwards on the pond, garden and pool. The main house features a butterfly roof that turns up to the south with a dramatic overhang. Large sliding glass doors open directly out to the pond and terrace.

© David Wakely Photography
Environmental diagram

The roofs conceal photovoltaic and solar hot water panels. The house is heated with a radiant system in the stone floors, and despite the hot climate it is not air conditioned, but passively cooled with a combination of overhangs, shades, and operable windows. The house also features many green building materials, including high fly-ash concrete, formaldehyde-free casework and denim insulation. The new house creates a special place for the clients, making a main residence feel like a vacation retreat.

Products in this project

Bathroom Equipment: Hansgrohe

  • Outdoor shower: Axor Philippe Starck by Hansgrohe

Construction materials, Semi-finished materials: BioBased Systems, LLC

  • Soy‐based spray foam insulation: 501 + 2000NB by BioBased Systems, LLC

Floor: Eurostone, Inc.

  • Limestone by Eurostone, Inc.

Furniture: Columbia Forest Products

  • Cabinetry by Columbia Forest Products

Heating and Ventilation: Viessmann

  • High‐efficiency boiler: Vitodens 200 by Viessmann

Kitchen Equipment: Bosch, Viking, Sub Zero

  • Dishwasher by Bosch
  • Range by Viking
  • Refrigerator by Sub Zero

Lighting, Heating, Home/building automation: Lutron, RSA Lighting

  • Lightning by Lutron
  • Lightning by RSA Lighting

Roof: AEP Span

  • Standing seam metal roof by AEP Span

Walls: Benjamin Moore

  • Paint by Benjamin Moore
Cite: "Atherton Residence / Turnbull Griffin Haesloop" 09 Nov 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>
  • the uninformed observer

    The best residence I’ve seen this year. What a success! Thanks for your good work.

  • cad

    My dream house, a longer overhang would have been perfect.

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  • harry

    I like the open view, a very good design

  • ZIED

    I do like the design, in fact I think it’s very successful.
    the pool is very well placed.
    But this idea of having big huge glass walls will rais quistions about privecy

  • derustun

    I love this house! Both interior and exterior designs are in peaceful harmony..

  • Robesfran

    Excelent; DESIGN, FORM, FUNCTION, this is architecture, great integration between indoor,outdoor, this hapens when you have clients that trust in your skills, and also have a great budget, great PROJECT..

  • adf

    Very clean and simple – but where is the art? It could use a little bit of warmth inside.

  • Talia

    Wow. This house is gorgeous.

  • sophie fried

    spectacular! very unique. can I live here please?

  • Hannah Fried

    What a house! Really admire the open design, and the integration with the outdoors.

  • Dan Fried and Olga Karpiw

    Fabulous. We’d move in tomorrow. Who says “modern” architecture is abstract and dysfunctional. This house is GREAT!

  • martin rubow


    look at our site for ‘kingo school’ , related ?

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  • clairde

    Impressive! I would like to live there

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