Marin Hills Residence
Landscape Architect: Scott R. Lewis
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.