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Beyond aesthetics

A full renovation extends rooflines and adjusts window sizes – indoors, spacial perceptions shift with layout adjustments maximising views, flow and natural light

Designed by Mason Kirby

From the renovating architect:

This revitalised 1987 home is a testament to the transmutative power of architecture by reimagining its existing building to enhance functionality and integration with the landscape – underscoring the impact through simplicity of form.

On a tranquil hillside lot, Mason Kirby has transformed the home, moving beyond structural change to demonstrate architecture's role in addressing challenges, harmonising with landscapes, and enhancing human interaction. 

The design of the reworked home rethinks space and structure, proving architecture's power in evolving living environments.

“The essence of design lies beyond aesthetic appeal; it dwells in the intricacies of solving complex formal, engaging scales, perspectives, and the profound relationship between a structure and its landscape,” says Mason Kirby. 

“The renovation illuminates these facets of architectural invention, serving as an example of how architecture can address and restate the challenges inherent in pre-existing buildings.”

The project showcases how architecture can overcome pre-existing building challenges by recognising and unlocking compositional opportunities that more firmly set the structure within its surroundings.

After detailed analysis of the home's original layout, the architect opted for strategic modifications over complete reconstruction. 

This respectful dialogue with the site enhanced the home's foundational elements, breathing new vitality into the space through careful refinement.


Scale, perspective, and site integration

Good architecture involves amplifying a space's inherent qualities to transform it significantly. 

This project showcases architecture's power to fundamentally reimagine a building's essence, not merely its appearance.

Mason Kirby highlights architectural problem-solving with scale, perspective, and site integration, vital for harmonising built environments with their natural settings. 

Strategic changes, like extending rooflines and adjusting window sizes, go beyond aesthetics to enhance the building's relationship with its site. 

These modifications emphasise architecture's role in shaping how buildings interact with their surroundings and the experience of their inhabitants.

Moreover, spatial connections within the home have shifted space perception. 

Strategic window placements and layout adjustments have maximised views and natural light, enriching the indoor-outdoor experience and elevating the overall living quality.

This project, in Mill Valley, California, is a standout example of architectural rejuvenation. 

The spacious home, with four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and a six-car garage on a 1173m² lot, has been transformed into a modern sanctuary that harmonises contemporary elegance with its environment.

The interior, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, showcases views of Mount Tamalpais, Sausalito, and the San Francisco skyline, connecting the homeowners with nature. 

The renovation extends living spaces outdoors, with cathedral ceilings and decks that promote an open connection to nature.

Through transmutative design and a keen emphasis on both form and function, the project melds beauty with practical utility, ensuring a harmonious integration with the surrounding landscape. 

Credit list

Renovating architect

Designed by: Mason Kirby

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Joseph Schell

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