21-09-2018

The Shack, Feldman Architecture

Feldman Architects,

Phil Bond,

San Francisco, California, USA,

Landscape, Housing, holiday houses,

Stone, Wood,

Refurbishment, Landscaping,

The designers of Feldman Architecture have transformed a small weekend cottage not far from San Francisco into a true architectural gem, An attentive intervention that makes the most of the landscape as well as the characteristic features of the original building.



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The Shack, Feldman Architecture The designers of Feldman Architecture have transformed a small weekend cottage not far from San Francisco into a true architectural gem, An attentive intervention that makes the most of the landscape as well as the characteristic features of the original building.


Marin County is conveniently located between San Francisco and the Napa and Sonoma Wine Country, great for a quick getaway from the city. Its warm, sunny California climate makes it attractive all year and the perfect place to enjoy outdoor activities. It is also the location for one of the latest projects by Feldman Architecture, an award-winning residential and commercial design practice in California, recognised for creating warm, light-filled spaces that are site-sensitive and carefully detailed.
All qualities that the designers drew on for their renovation of The Shack: a weekender composed of low ceilings and partition walls that created dark spaces. However, on a closer look, hints of character and charm emerged, not least of which were the beautiful mountain views and certain materials and details of the original cottage. For The Shack, the design team from Feldman Architecture were also lucky enough to benefit from the active involvement of the clients, both creatives, well-known photographer Catherine Wagner and designer Loretta Gargan, in the design of the home, landscape and interiors.
During phase one, the original Douglas Fir ceilings were revealed as the sloped roof was opened up to bring in more light. This find inspired Feldman Architects to use reclaimed woods, mainly sourced locally, for the mantel, floors and interior doors. These woods and shades warm the interiors and compliment the views to the gardens and Mount Baldy beyond. 
The kitchen and living room open up to an outdoor seating and dining area. Given the limited space and the open views from the living room to the kitchen, the clients and designers opted to create a kitchen that is as compact and detailed as a ship’s galley. The bathroom has been brightened with a large translucent window as an excellent compromise between privacy and light.
At the end of the first phase of the renovation, where a Sonoma stone fireplace from the original home was also maintained as a prominent feature, design and construction began on phase two, including a two storey addition, garage with a green roof and stepped terraces with a swimming pool. This extends the living room area and adds a second-floor master suite with sweeping views of Mount Baldy. The addition and garage are primarily made of materials similar to the original house with board and batten siding in a natural stain.
With The Shack - a real euphemism when you look at the magnificent multi-volume building that the original weekender has been turned into - Feldman Architecture has created a retreat that interacts closely with its surroundings, not only through the views of the landscape framed perfectly by the openings, but also by virtue of its materials, which are a tribute to the site as much as to the principle of reuse.

Christiane Bürklein

Project Team
Architecture: Feldman Architecture
Interiors and Landscape Design: Loretta Gargan Landscape + Design
Contractor: Joe Doerr Construction
Reclaimed Woods: Paul Discoe of Joinery Structures
Lighting Design: H.E. Banks & Associates Lighting Design
Cabinetry: Rae Creeger
PhotographyPhil Bond

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