Owl House – Modern House Design Marin County

Net Zero Energy Home.
Honor Award Winner of the 2022 AIA Redwood Empire Design Awards.

Planted into a grassy bowl lived an old bay tree among outcroppings, a grove of blue oak, and a new one-bedroom house. Lambs and kids romp in the meadow each spring. Hawks and turkey vultures circle at eye level. The orientation, curated floor elevation, tilt and alignment were not only informed by the natural contours, sun, wind and views, but by the historic Olompali fence line where remnants still stand. The views and environmental comfort inside and out are the most important livability elements. The butterfly form checked all the boxes. The roof lands in mid-flutter of a butterfly serving the desire for big views while hiding the photovoltaics.
The butterfly holds a combined lounge, kitchen, and dining space and is supported by steel moment frames at 12-foot intervals– the most efficient span for SIPS roof panels. Tucked under the north wing lives the guest bath, office, pantry, laundry and mechanical room in the manner of a utility shed clinging to a barn quietly pressed against the hill Low windows move heat out or drop night air cooling in. The choice was to go all electric using solar power hidden by the upflap of the butterfly for water, power, and radiant.

Marin County Line, California

AIA California Residential Design Award of Merit, 2023
AIA Redwood Empire, 2022 Honor Award

Photos by: Molly Haas