The neighbor behind this property has a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and so does the neighbor behind him. So let’s just say that pushing vertical wasn’t an option in the renovation and addition to this older Tiburon home. Nor was it necessary, considering the site already enjoyed unobstructed views of the San Francisco Bay to the east, south, and west.

The new home’s pavilion-like layout, designed by Swatt|Miers Architects, retains few vestiges of its predecessor, other than the footprint. The north elevation (the only side without a view) is marked by an assembly of freestanding stone walls, which define a front entry and motor court. Narrow slices of glass between the walls offer only a hint of the panorama around the corner.

The surprise comes on the opposite side, where a series of dramatically cantilevered roofs, frameless glass walls, and retractable glass panels blow the house wide open—so much so that it’s hard to tell where interior becomes exterior.

Materials used interchangeably include vein-cut Turkish travertine flooring (arranged in a herringbone pattern to avoid stripes), which flows seamlessly from living room to pool terrace. The handcut Jerusalem stone used in the entry court and other exterior walls also forms the fireplace surround inside. For continuity, all of the home’s casework is black walnut.

Project Details

Grand

Category Whole-house makeover or significant addition
Entrant/Architect Swatt|Miers Architects, Emeryville, Calif.
Builder Jamba Construction, Tiburon, Calif.

“It’s a very quiet aesthetic,” says architect Robert Swatt, noting that the biggest splurge in the budget, by far, was the superstructure. “The interior spaces are defined by level changes and furnishings, not by walls and doors. To create those wide spans, double cantilevers, and the glass-on-glass effect, we needed quite a bit of steel.”

Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Francisco, CA.