Modern Lagoon


When designing a 2,100 square-foot home on the Stinson Lagoon in Marin County, Cass Calder Smith – Architecture + Design was eager to step outside of the traditional beach house style and create a more modern, refined residence. Made for a family of five who like to surf, craft and entertain, the surrounding lagoon is shallow and warm, encouraging water activities and extended outdoor hangs. 

Following strict Marin County coastal codes, the team was challenged to elevate the structure a distance above the water resulting in a situation where the buildings have two sides: in this case, northward with decks and steps that cascade down to the water, while the south side is more level and expansive with exposure to the southern sun, taking advantage of Stinson’s sunnier side. 

Once inside, the home is separated into two parts; the high-traffic living spaces and sleeping quarters. The main area, comprised of the living room, kitchen and dining room, is extremely open offering maximim indoor/outdoor living. The bedroom wing features three rooms, including a fun bunk room. 

 The wrap-around nature of the home creates an intimate courtyard-like entry area that allows for maximum privacy. The exterior is clad in clear-heart western red cedar that has a weathered look popular in the area. Sliding doors open the main living space and the master bedroom up completely to the outdoors, feeling as if one is floating on the water. The flat portion of the roof has photovoltaic solar panels, which generate all of the electrical needs, resulting in nearly a net-zero energy house.