To separate the open-plan kitchen from the living areas,
the architects created a slender 17-foot-long Calacatta Borghini marble bar that doubles as a buffet table. With a core of
steel, it is an engineering marvel: it seems to hover effortlessly
above a lower island for the bar sink, and LED lights on the
bottom accentuate the illusion of floating.
“At first I thought the bar was too dominant,” the owner
admits. She was concerned it would detract from the view
from the kitchen, but now that it is all in place, she has
embraced the architects’ simplified design based on axial
geometries and planes intended to direct the eye toward vistas. From the kitchen she can now see Coit Tower and the
Bay Bridge; from the master suite there are postcard views
of Alcatraz Island; from the living areas, the Golden Gate
Bridge and the expansive bay.
The old windows, which were outdated and thermally
inefficient, were laboriously replaced with double-pane
systems without changing the visual rhythm outside. “Our
doorways are also full height, and a door is not just a door
or threshold. It helps to combine spaces because you pass
through uninterrupted,” Tamjidi says. Nearly invisible, the
doors pocket away or are blind-hinged to look like wall panels when open. With a now-larger foyer that has better sight
lines in several directions, the home feels airier and more
spacious inside. “By opening things up in this way, we also
brought natural light into the darkest areas,” Tamjidi says.
The architects have tried hard to keep the interior architecture understated, so it frames and offsets the commanding
view, but there are many subtleties to enjoy.
“Our color palette is very muted but we layer it carefully
with patterns,” Garcia says. “We chose every piece of stone
and made sure that veined marbles create a tracery even in
the shower enclosures. The grain in wood casework also lines
up, especially when it wraps around a corner. We sometimes
ripped down larger pieces to align wood grain and stone
Breaking large wall expanses into three parts also creates a
calming effect, the architects have found, so shower stalls and
vanities in both new bathrooms are divided into three sections.
And the outside view — always a canvas of changing colors
— has some counterparts inside as well. Above the dining
table, the color of the bay is reflected in a Venetian blown-glass Flow-T chandelier from Wonderglass designed by Nao
Tamura, and the leather and upholstered furniture from
Dzine, Flexform and B&B Italia have the muted tertiary
hues of the Marin hills.
“Rather than arbitrarily painting a wall with a color the
owner might tire of, we counted on the color of the wood
floors to change and darken in time,” Tamjidi says. “The
furniture we selected will stand out like distinct landmarks
against that, and their colors can be changed.
“Now, when you enter the living room, the view is the first
wow moment,” he adds. “And then, when your eye settles,
you really notice the luxurious landscape inside.” n
The powder room, off
that leads to the master
wing, has a gravity-defying Calacatta
Borghini marble vanity
with a Bolo40 sink by
Antonio Lupi and a
faucet by Dornbracht.
The minimalist master
bath also has similar
veined sheets of carefully matched marble
in the shower.
“WE CHOSE EVERY
PIECE OF STONE AND
MADE SURE THAT
CREATE A TRACERY
EVEN IN THE SHOWER