Despite knowing and treasuring the autonomy of working
for themselves, they found they could work seamlessly with
architect Peter Pfau (of San Francisco–based architecture firm
Pfau Long) and project architect Kerstin Fischer.
“They were really thoughtful collaborators,” the architect
says of the couple. The house “took shape between our sensi-bilities.” Pfau wasn’t interested in any formal agenda, unlike
some architects who use a client’s house as a springboard
to explore their own interests; rather, he was interested in
exploring what he calls an “experiential agenda.” How can
a house accommodate the reality of a family living there —
lacrosse sticks and all — and still be, as he says, “beautiful
and warm and compelling”?
The solution lay in color, texture and the sensuality of
the materials. Chuck lists just some of the elements used —
wide-board wood floors; reclaimed walnut cabinetry; wool
carpeting; recycled materials — all part of what he calls a
“very tactile natural palette.” Another creative solution was
use of marble in the kitchen and bathroom, something Molly
initially balked at, not wanting to deal with the maintenance.
After rounds of discussion, the three decided to not only go
with the marble but fully embrace its limitations. And so
lemons have dripped onto the kitchen countertop and bath
products have splashed onto the bathroom marble, and all of
it has created a patina and a look of true livability.
The house has transformed as the children have grown.
Molly says they now do their homework in her home studio,
a sign not only of how comfortable the family feels together
in this area, but also of how well-designed the airy space
is. The house has its own internal logic: Chuck is fond of
the structural rhythm, where each vertical element — inside