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California retreat surrounded by lush landscaping

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Atherton Residence is situated on a peninsula south of San Francisco, California, nestled on an internal suburban flag lot. Designed by Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, the previous 1950s house had to be removed due to structural problems, but 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. 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 inward on the pond, garden and pool.

Large sliding glass doors open directly out to the pond and terrace. 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.

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Photos: David Wakely Photography

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  • r4 ds

    This is a really good read for me, thank you!