Intended to be as light on the land as possible, this weekend retreat is sited to have a minimal footprint while maximizing spectacular views of Tomales Bay in Northern California. The orientation and layout of the structure maximizes energy savings on cooling and heating, which is provided with a radiant floor system controlled by smart thermostat. Large windows and an open courtyard help increase natural light and allow for panoramic vistas.
Before construction, the two-acre site had been left vacant since it was severely damaged in the Inverness Ridge Fire of 1995. Native trees, shrubs, ground cover and meadows were included in the master plan to regenerate and restore the land.
The owners brought their children to camp on-site for years before building, and wanted to bring the "roughing it" sensibility to the built home. Huang Iboshi looked to the owner’s cultural background and childhood memories of a cabin in Norway for inspiration. They built upon similarities between the vernacular of Norway and Tomales Bay, finding that both areas had rugged, utilitarian structures that integrate with the landscape in a similar way.
The naturally weathered Alaskan yellow cedar siding and the use of plywood throughout the interior provide durability, and align with the family's active outdoor lifestyle. Sustainability was a priority in all material choices, including FSC-certified sustainable wood flooring, ceiling and cabinetry, with non-toxic and non off-gassing finishes. The natural palette keeps the home grounded in the Northern California landscape.