Seaside Sustainability and Style: Seadrift House by CCS Architecture

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A sustainable second home for a multigenerational San Francisco family, this residence by CCS Architecture is a 1900-square-foot beach house located in Seadrift, a gated vacation community at the tip of Stinson Beach, California. The sustainability challenge was met in style: it achieved the Marin Planning Department’s highest rating for efficient use of resources, with photovoltaic panels that power all its systems except for the minor use of propane for cooking. More than just boats “float” where this home is concerned, though — take a look at the staircase that seems suspended in midair, not to mention the hanging fire “orb,” and you’ll sense instant ambience of light and air. This open-plan home is designed as a comfortable, easy-living gathering spot where the family touches base.

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The living room opens to decking in two directions; on the south side is a small courtyard and a lagoon are on the north, with glass railings throughout that allow for unimpeded views. Adjacent to the living/dining spaces is a family room with skylights; and that fire orb? It actually rotates to “aim” warmth either indoors or out, a boon in northern California. Bedrooms are off the “beaten path” and share bathrooms that feature pocket doors for easy en-suite sharing. And more than just energy is part of the sustainability framework here; as the architects explain, “The diverse and durable mix of materials includes locally harvested cedar siding with a non-toxic bleaching oil finish…and native cedar ceilings.” Use of local materials, clever siting and design, and a casual, unfussy lifestyle: they’re all elements of this great beach house by CCS.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).