Designer Visit: YamaMar Design Studio in San Francisco

May 15, 2011 9:12 PM

BY Christine Chang Hanway

Founded in 2005 by David Yama and Karen Mar, San Francisco-based YamaMar Design Studio is dedicated to the principles of green design. The firm works closely with contractors, specialty fabricators, and regional suppliers, sourcing local materials and building systems. For this Mill Valley house, the firm made use of sustainable materials like high-fly ash concrete, untreated western red cedar, reclaimed hardwood flooring, photovoltaic solar power, and locally sourced ceramic and glass tile. Sited in a grove of eucalyptus trees, the house maximizes the clean air of the Pacific and the southern light with natural ventilation and optimized daylight; a grownup version of every child’s fantasy tree house.

Photographs by Bruce Damonte, courtesy of YamaMar Design Studio.

Mill Valley home designed by YamaMar Design StudioAbove: Nestled in nature.

YamaMar designed this home in Mill ValleyAbove: Standing Seam Roof with Kynar paint finish.

YamaMar designed this home in Mill ValleyAbove: Sited in a grove of eucalyptus trees. The exterior wood siding is FSC-certified STK (Select Tight Knot) Western red cedar.

YamaMar Design Studio designed this Mill Valley homeAbove: Oversized windows capture the Marin County views.

YamaMar designed this house in Mill ValleyAbove: The light washes over the deck and into the house through Composite Bi-Folding Doors, which feature wood on the interior and hard-wearing aluminum on the exterior, reducing condensation and heat loss and saving on energy costs.

YamaMar designed this home in Mill ValleyAbove: Optimized daylight floods the interiors.

YamaMar designed this home in Mill ValleyAbove: The flooring material is Reclaimed Hickory Wood.

YamaMar designed this Mill Valley home.Above: The pool’s design complements the home’s natural style.