2017 Awards

Design: Residential, Single Family Home

Honor Award

Marin Hills Residence
Scott Lewis Landscape Architecture
Landscape Architect: Scott R. Lewis

The design of this site demonstrates how a light and restrained touch can subtly blend crafted and natural elements.
Slope restoration included re-grading and the establishment of native grasses and plantings.
Existing rock outcrops were carefully preserved. Bioswales are designed within the restored hillside.
Site planning protected live oak habitat by keeping construction and structures at a distance, while showcasing magnificent specimens.
The stone seat wall at the hillside’s east edge serves as a border between created and natural space.
The hillside near the entry is restored with native species including Ceanothus, Black Oak and Western Redbud. Grey Lichen Fieldstone walls, softened with winter-blooming Hardenbergia, surround the guest parking area, which is planted with native California Fescue over a geogrid.
The auto gate and columns, clad with resawn, vertical grain Western Red Cedar and powder-coated steel caps, make an understated entry to the property that allows glimpses of the landscape beyond.
Shallow terraces transition the house gently into the hillside, while a mix of Lavender, Blue Oat Grass and Rosemary bring texture and fragrance near the pool.
The design of the pool area allowed for dramatic views to the east, between the oak groves.
The pea gravel courtyard stays cool, is permeable and blends with surrounding colors. The specimen olive provides shade and serves as a sculptural form.
Understated materials and plantings complement the surrounding environment and the unadorned building masses of the shed style architecture. This 4,600-square foot home replaced the existing 8,000-square foot house.
The colors of the Fossil Creek Sandstone and the Black Bear Ledgestone walls harmonize with the landscape, as the native grass changes from green to golden.
The courtyard, terraces and pool were aligned south towards majestic Mount Tamalpais. This landmark was the driving focal point in siting design elements.
Site Plan.

Designed to focus on scenic Mount Tamalpais, this project thoughtfully blends a new family residence with a restored native environment. The landscape architect and client made responsible water use a key goal, while aiming for a contemporary, restrained, and integrated design. Maximizing views and minimizing earthwork influenced the location of the home, courtyard, and terraces. The hillside was restored to its natural state by removing massive retaining walls and re-grading the slope, while preserving mature oak groves. The three-acre site uses drought-tolerant plants and is blanketed in native grass; no turf is used. Now, the property uses just 3% of the amount of water that the county would allow to a conventional landscape with turf grass and ornamental plantings on this same site. The client’s goals of restricting water use and establishing a light-handed aesthetic that blends with the landscape were achieved in this property’s transformation. Sophisticated, clean lines integrate with natural elements in this minimalist design that honors the site and its resources.