A mid-century tree house in Mill Valley: Radius House

Daniel Liebermann, who apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West, designed the 1,000 square foot Radius House in 1960, located in Mill Valley, California. When the house was originally built, many materials were recycled or locally made. The current owners, Andrew and Kim Todd, contractor Kevin Smith and designer Vivian Dwyer agreed that the goal of this project was to insert modern elements into this house of the earth. The roof was rebuilt to allow for adequate ventilation and for a proper electrical system. It was necessary to redesign the kitchen, refurbish concrete floors, wood beams, metal pipes and resurface the canted, curved brick walls with smooth, white plaster.

The space at the rear was rearranged into a master bedroom with an open washing area, separate powder room and closet/dressing room. The custom tub is by Concreteworks and custom wood furnishings by local craftsman Steve O’Brien. Every space opens to views of the giant redwoods that surround the property, connecting with the outside and making the house feel bigger. The movement of light during the day activates different parts of the house, while layering the lighting carries this magical effect to the night. This house is a perfect example of how to live well in a small space.

Before the Renovation:

Photos: Joe Fletcher, Caitlin Atkinson

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11 years ago

Dangerous house. No handrails by stairs. Stacked bricks and rockpiles without mortar will kill when earthquake occurs. We live in earthquake country.