Final(ly) House

Sausalito, California

  • Architect: Rothschild/Schwartz
  • Contractor: Metro Construction
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Credit: Rothschild Schwartz Architects

Close collaboration between the engineer and the architects resulted in a home that is integrated into the picturesque landscape of the Marin Headlands and features breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.

During the design process, the team’s attention to accessibility and deference to the surrounding landscape naturally led to a low-slung, multilevel house that features an extensive, flat, ground floor and is nestled into the sloping hillside. To achieve the architects’ intent that the house “feel as if it had always been there,” numerous sustainable elements were incorporated into the design, such as a living roof, reclaimed local hundred-year-old redwood siding, radiant heating, and cork flooring. The house’s exposed structure prominently displays the FSC-certified glulam roof beams and columns, which were chosen because they allowed the design team to achieve long, clear spans and create an open, airy floor plan. Additionally, a fly-ash mix was used for the exposed concrete elements, paying particular attention to the forming and finish. As part of the  overall passive solar design, our structural details minimized thermal bridging at critical architectural elements that penetrated the exterior envelope—elements such as the southern brise soleil (or sun baffle) and the photovoltaic canopy.

The lateral system, which is designed to resist the potentially high seismic forces from the nearby San Andreas Fault, makes use of conventional wood-framed shear walls on three sides of the structure. At the south side of the house, cantilevered steel tubes are integrated into the floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall, low-emissivity glazing to maintain the spectacular views that are so integral to the overall design.

The Final(ly) House was featured on the 2008 AIA/Dwell Home Tours and won an SFAIA 2009 Honor Award for Excellence in Architecture.






Executed as Tipping Mar