Hillside Home Is 75% Open-Air, Physical Embodiment of “Living the Dream”

This house doesn't have views, it is views

By Athena Wisotsky

 
Hillside Home Is 75% Open-Air, Physical Embodiment of “Living the Dream”
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29 September 2016

Probably every city-dweller who transplanted from greener pastures will tell you the same thing: They like it here, but they miss trees, hiking trails and fresh air.

If you’re one such transplant, consider this plan of action: 1) Read this article, 2) Open a new tab, book a flight to said greener pastures, and 3) Buy/rent/annex/usurp/squat on this home. Et voila.

The Turner Residence by Jensen Architects in Northern California is a custom hillside home built to live in harmony with the surrounding nature and community. Utilizing construction and landscape materials that maximize efficiency while minimizing visibility, the 5,000-and-change square-foot home was built into the site rather than atop it. Mirrored facades and an elegant silhouette allow it to virtually disappear into the landscape.

The indoor-outdoor layout in is what people imagine when they talk about building the house of their dreams. It’s also a good reminder that we need fresh air and peace and quiet in our lives. (Ed. note: The soundtrack to this writing is an orchestra of sirens wailing up the street of our Manhattan office.)

It helps that most of the walls can be pocketed into the core, leaving essentially a 75% open-air home-cum-aerie that blurs the line between indoor and out. Track curtains and moveable layers of perforated shades ensure that you can find the best ratio of light-to-fresh-air at any time of day.

There's also radiant heating in the concrete floors, so you can be barefoot and comfy AF on those chilly NorCal nights.

Outside (so ... everywhere?), the landscaping is just as impressive as the home itself. Multiple water gardens help control rainwater and avoid erosion of the hillside site, and more than 7,000 square feet of patio and decks overlook the oak forest, Mount Tamalpais and the Bay. Finally, a poolside cedar sitting deck connects the living room with the outdoors.

If you’re interested in some of the more technical details, the firm’s site has a thorough overview of their process and considerations when designing the home.

Images via Mariko ReedJensen Architects

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