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Lagoon House, Project of the Year / Gold Award, Custom Home

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Lagoon House, Project of the Year / Gold Award, Custom Home

A Marin County, Calif., home connects to its coastal location

August 27, 2018
Lagoon House, Seadrift, Calif, 2018 Project of the Year Award
Lagoon House, said the judges, "is a great vacation house with sight lines throughout, inviting you into an ocean frame of mind." Decks and stairs cascade down to the water at the rear of the home. (Photo: Paul Dyer Photography)
This article first appeared in the September 2018 issue of Pro Builder.

Lagoon House

Seadrift, Calif.


Entrant/Architect/Interior Designer: CCS Architecture

Builder: Jim Allen Construction Group
Photographer: Paul Dyer Photography

Size: 2,100 sf

Completion: January 2016

Lagoon House manages to be simultaneously unique and iconic—no small feat in a neighborhood known for modernist gems designed by the likes of Joseph Esherick, Stanley Saitowitz, and William Wurster. The 2,100-square-foot home on Stinson Lagoon is a weekend residence for a family of five from San Francisco that loves to surf, cook, craft, and party. “It’s modern but it’s regional,” says Cass Calder Smith, principal of CCS Architecture, in San Francisco. “There’s a lot of wood.” 

2018 Project of Year_Seadrift, Calif._kitchen.png
The clients' main requirement for the kitchen, says architect Cass Calder Smith, was a large island so that some can cook while others are cleaning up. "It's the social hub, so it's got to fit a lot of people," says Smith. 


The main living spaces have a dual orientation to Stinson Lagoon and the street, maximizing sight lines and indoor-outdoor living and “inviting you into an ocean frame of mind,” said the Professional Builder Design Awards judges. They also praised the home for its efficient use of space and elegant yet casual design. Lagoon House is zoned into living and sleeping wings, including a bunk room for the three children. A kitchen with a large island accommodates multiple cooks, and the open plan enables large crowds to circulate with ease. Builder Jim Allen constructed a metal shop in place of the garage for the client, who is a metalworker.


2018 Project of Year_Seadrift, Calif._side elevation.png
Elevated per coastal regulations, the home has decks at intermediate levels leading down to the water. The western red cedar siding is stained gray to give it an appropriate weathered look.

In compliance with Marin County coastal regulations, Lagoon House is elevated high above sea level, with decks and steps that cascade down to the water. A fire pit and hot tub make for festive gatherings. To give the street side more curb appeal, CCS cantilevered part of the roofline above a courtyard entry to create a visual portal to the house. Clear-heart western red cedar siding is stained gray for a weathered look, and the interior is a combination of white walls, sinker cypress boards, and concrete floors. 

Smith says the goal was to get as much south-facing glass into the main living spaces as possible. Strategically placed skylights bring in patterned natural light from above to balance the south and north light. Solar photovoltaic panels on the flat side of the roof generate 100 percent of the electricity for the family’s needs. 

Click to see the other winners of the 2018 Professional Builder Design Awards.

See more photos of this project below.

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Written By
Senior Editor

Susan Bady has been writing about the housing industry for 30 years. She is senior editor of Professional Builder and Custom Builder magazines, and produces the Design Innovation e-newsletter.  Bady has also written for such consumer magazines as Cabin Life and Better Homes and Gardens’ Home Plan Ideas

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