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Cottage Expansion uses Local Woods to Compliment Mountain Views

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A cottage coined The Shack in Ross, San Francisco, California, USA was renovated in two phases by Feldman Architecture. The first phase consisted of renovating the original “shack” while the second phase expanded the cottage with a two-storey addition, a green roofed garage and stepped terraces that lead to the new pool. Phase one of the renovation exposed original Douglas-fir ceilings and this detail inspired the architects to use reclaimed and local woods for the home’s new flooring, interior doors and fireplace mantel. The Shack is a weekend (or longer) escape for the busy homeowners and a strong focus was put towards opening up the cottage to the surrounding mountain views so that the homeowners could be constantly aware of the peaceful environment they had “escaped” to.

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Just above the terrace and accessible by stairs is the outdoor dining just off of the living zone and below the Master Bedroom. The rows of outdoor lighting suspended in an almost clothes line effect creates a intimate starlight setting that is in complete harmony with the board and batten siding of “The Shack”.

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The living room also accesses the pool terrace from a large and openable wall glazing that faces the terrace. Steps travel down to and meld with the terrace and then continue downward to a lower level garden zone.

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With the living area opened up to the outdoor seating and dining areas, the homeowners are able to enjoy an indoor / outdoor lifestyle and with the small footprint the cottage has, it substantially increases the usable living space.

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When the architect opened up the low ceilings within the original shack, Douglas-fir ceilings where exposed, these, along with the Sonoma stone fireplace where kept as prominent features to the new “look”. Reclaimed and local woods where used on the new hardwood flooring and mantel and these materials create a continuum from the original section seen here in the kitchen and dining area, to the new addition seen past the opening in the living area. Even the contemporary stairs pick up hues from the fireplace blending harmoniously with the warm wood tones featured throughout.

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With limited space and view lines to be kept, the architect paid close attention to the layout of the kitchen, approaching it as though it where a ship’s galley. Although small, the kitchen incorporates a functional layout and plenty of prep space – it even has seating for 3 at the bar.

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Just next to the kitchen is a dining table and two benches located in front of the Sonoma stone fireplace.

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The stairs just past the kitchen in the living area lead up to the Master Bedroom. They are far more contemporary then the rest of the cottage but the pale grey tones of the continuous bent steel treads and risers blend with the deeper grey upholstery and clean lines of the furniture choices.

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The stairwell takes up as small a footprint as possible due to its spiral profile.

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The spiral staircase leads up to the new Master Bedroom.

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The views to Mount Baldy from the bedroom windows are stunning.

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The ensuite features a floating vanity, a wall mounted faucet and a glassed in walk in shower complete with window.

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The two storey addition and terraces increased the living space of the original cottage dramatically and the inclusion of a new pool further enhances the vacation feel to this city escape.

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Adding a green roof to the garage and matching all the new siding to the original rare old growth redwood board and batten keeps the flavour of the original shack even though newer, more contemporary features are prevalent everywhere. Melding the old with the new is a tricky business but Feldman Architecture has successfully done so within the scheme of “The Shack”
Feldman Architecture
Photography by Phil Bond

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