Caught between land and sea, this small house was once an old fisherman’s shack disappearing into the waters of Bodega Bay. The house sits on the edge of the bay in a protected cove that looks out over water, wetlands, and parkland.
The renovation included not only reestablishing the site as a habitable human space, but also rebuilding a delicate natural ecosystem. We created 1,895 SF of salt marsh regeneration by cantilevering the house over the wetlands. And by elevating it above the flood line and using resilient building materials, our hope is that both the house and the wetlands will persist through time and the changing environment.
We minimized environmental disruption during demolition and construction as much as possible, only interfering when required and immediately removing spoils for reuse on another site. This ethos of care and reuse permeated the project. Almost every material was reclaimed (from the original structure when possible) and all materials were chosen for their ability to age gracefully with little maintenance. Most of the furniture was purchased second-hand, except for a few items that were made in our shop. The building is net-positive, with solar panels on the roof and closed-cell insulation in the walls.
Most importantly, this project is about celebrating the site and its inherent natural beauty. Windows and decks open to the bay, allowing those who dwell here to live alongside the rise and fall of the tides in this shifting landscape, and creating a connection to the natural world that might otherwise be difficult to find.