The project is a renovation to an existing single-family hillside home. The home is perched at the bottom of a hillside, overhanging the San Francisco Bay in the bayside town of Sausalito, with a private dock reaching out into the Bay.
Our clients are Fred Seegal and Robin Seegal. Fred & Robin live primarily in Manhattan, where Fred serves as Vice Chairman of the Peter J Solomon Company. He has also recently been appointed the Chair for the James Beard Foundation. Both Fred & Robin serve the community on many Boards, particularly in support of the arts. Fred & Robin had previously lived in a home designed by our firm in Sausalito.
The Seegal’s have an extensive collection of modern art and mid-century furniture. The renovated Sausalito house is designed as a dramatic place to share their collection.
The original home was laid out in a descending pinwheel fashion, culminating in in a “crows nest” viewing room above the master bedroom. The form is uniquely northern Californian, influenced by the many local self-built houseboats and alternative homes common in the 1960’s and 70’s.
While exciting in overall form, the original home did not take advantage of the amazing available views of San Francisco, Angel Island or Alcatraz. The roof configuration limited the size and location of view windows, and the interior walls blocked possible views between spaces to exterior views.
Our response was to lift up facets of the roof to allow for immense view windows and sliding doors. Careful collaboration with the structural engineer allowed for the extensive opening up of the interior layout. In a seismically active zone, structural steel is required to allow for this opening. Fred & Robin encouraged us to expose the steel as a feature of the interior, and expressly wanted the finish to be workman-like and industrial.
The construction process was as unique as the site and the building. All construction traffic to and from the building site had to be funneled through the dock. All demolition material and debris was off-loaded to barges, often under the observation of the BCDC, Bay Conservation and Development Commission.
All construction materials had to come in by the same route, including structural steel, concrete, windows and doors, and all finish materials.