Shands Studio Architects converted a shabby hunting cabin and summer guest house in San Anselmo, CA, USA into an impressive contemporary residence. The main purpose of the planning stage was to connect the project to its rich landscape. In the building process, framing lumber found on the site was reused and the 100 year old rock walls that traverse the property were preserved. The result is striking: “The house creates an L shape as two perpendicular volumes step down the hill integrating with the existing trees and rock walls. The materials selected–board formed concrete walls, painted steel and stained western red cedar–were inspired by the natural setting and rugged nature of the site.”

Sliding glass doors create an optimum indoor-outdoor connection throughout the main level, opening up the key social areas to the mesmerizing hillside environment. Sustainable features of the project include passive heating and cooling systems, solar panels, window frames to shade the South glazing in the summer while allowing direct sunlight in the winter, salvaged and re-used framing lumber, salvaged rocks on site and high efficiency water heater supplies. [Photo credits: Paul Dyer Photography]