Embedding a residential space into the topography is always a challenge when it comes to design and construction. The exemplary Hillside Residence imagined by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects shows that accessible views, a respect for the land and a powerful desire to overcome any challenge can result in a fantastic dream home. A curved retaining wall undulates along the topography lines, creating a respectful and creative way of embedding the structure into the steep hillside. This wall guides footsteps towards the main entrance and engages the concept of a secluded courtyard with is sinuous shape running across the hill’s serpentine.

Overlooking panoramas of Mount Tamalpais and the San Francisco Bay from behind glass walls and piercing them through to the interior pool yard, this spectacular modern residence is a huge viewing platform for changing seasons. This protected courtyard is probably the most interesting feature of the house – light comes both from the carved ceiling and from the large sliding glass doors catching glimpses of the surroundings seen through the expansive, gallery-like social and living spaces. As the designers describe it, the Hillside Residence also incorporates sustainability features: “Three volumes housing the living room, kitchen-dining area, and master bedroom rise up above the living roof with shed roofs angled to capture the sun for photovoltaic and solar hot water panels. The house incorporates passive and active heating and cooling systems, battery storage, and a cistern for water runoff management.”