Aside from the ideal number of bathrooms and the right-sized garage, sometimes looking for a home means making a connection with a property’s particular style. Impactful architecture certainly helps in that department. These four residencies each have a unique style. One is a historic landmark, and the other three were designed by notable architects.
We compiled these lists from current real estate listing at the time of publication.
350 Bella Vista Avenue, Belvedere
This landmark Victorian was originally completed in the late 1890s. Carefully renovated, the main house and guest house boast open spaces with high ceilings. A generous great room leads out to a grand covered porch that curves for unobstructed 180-degree water views. The shingled five-bedroom has a versatile floorplan and fine architectural milled woodwork in almost every room. Skylights and ceiling beams draw the eye up, creating an effect of airy expansiveness throughout the home. The stone paths transport to another time with winding stairs that lead between the main house and guest house, with several overlooks to stop and enjoy the view.
34 Wolfback Terrace, Sausalito
Architect Obie Bowman has designed houses in Northern California and Oregon for nearly 50 years — most notably the Sea Ranch community of modernist cabins on the windswept California coast, which earned him international recognition when they were first built in the ‘70s. His work has been described as sensuous, sustainable and sculptural. This modern retreat is perched above Sausalito, allowing for dramatic views of Belvedere, Tiburon, the East Bay and the San Francisco skyline. The three-bedroom abode has three levels of generous glass windows. This architectural masterpiece has thoughtfully chosen materials throughout, such as Douglas fir, concrete and steel.
445 Belvedere Ave, Belvedere
This waterfront property was designed by the famed architect Charles Gwathmey. The four-level floorplan is organized vertically, taking advantage of its sloped site. The top level has a three-car, glass-door garage, a detached guesthouse and an elevator that descends to the courtyard. An interior circular stair encloses an elevator in the center of the home. Barrel-vaulted ceilings articulate the living and dining room at the entry level. The lowest level opens onto an outdoor terrace with an infinity-edge pool overlooking the Bay. The property for sale includes two land parcels, 445 and 455 Belvedere.
Private Address, Mill Valley
Designed by the well-known San Francisco architecture firm Aidlin Darling, this 4-bedroom residence has been recognized by the American Institute of Architects, Athenaeum Museum of Architecture & Design and the IIDA Northern California. With entire walls open to the outside, the contemporary home is designed to be an industrial sanctuary immersed in nature. Steel and corrugated siding connect the home to the land’s agricultural roots. The expansive courtyard invites quiet contemplation.
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Stephanie Fallon is a freelance writer who has spent her professional career in non-profit adult education, first in adult English literacy at Blue Ridge Literacy and then overseeing interpretation and public programming for the Taubman Museum of Art. She lives in Roanoke, Virginia and writes about visual culture, design, motherhood, and work.