with undulating organic forms, studio OPA realizes its ‘softie’ residence along the coastal cliffs of northern california. the exterior, a pre-existing house, is defined by a contemporary and timber-clad shell which encloses a renovated collection of spaces that are at once cavernous and light-filled. this interior recalls an eroded landform, its geometries seemingly sculpted by the sea. the character of the house lies in this dichotomy of rigid timber and pure white figures. the design team comments: ‘why can’t architecture be more like nature — changeable, varied, and uninhibited?

OPA SOFTIE
image by naaro | @studio_naaro

 

 

the team at OPA sculpts is softie house for a client who sought an atmosphere of non-conformity. while the residence is sited in mill valley, california — just north of san francisco — OPA occupies the original house with a new interior that evokes the ephemeral forms of the billowing clouds along the north-pacific horizon. commenting on this natural influence, the design team continues: ‘the clouds scatter freely throughout the house, and dissolve and soften it in different ways. the clouds erode and blur the order of the rational modernist grid, creating a sense of space that floats and drifts.’

OPA SOFTIE
image by naaro

 

 

OPA fills the softie interior with an organic language that at times occupies the entire space but are sometimes encountered unexpectedly. the team poetically likens these moments to a floating and drifting mist that has settled unevenly, eroding and blurring the house’s rational grid. the softness might subtly spill out of the house, seen at the stepping entrance threshold along with the cloud-like sunshade which floats overhead the kitchen terrace. the team elaborates: ‘the softness dissolves the entry, melts the stairs, wafts through the house on all three floors, and a lonely cloud is trapped above a sheltered terrace.’

OPA SOFTIE
image by naaro

OPA SOFTIE
image by joe fletcher | @joefletcherphoto

OPA SOFTIE
image by joe fletcher

OPA SOFTIE
image by joe fletcher

OPA SOFTIE
image by naaro

OPA SOFTIE
image by naaro

OPA SOFTIE
image by naaro

OPA SOFTIE
image by joe fletcher

OPA SOFTIE
image by joe fletcher

OPA SOFTIE
image by joe fletcher

OPA SOFTIE
image by naaro

 

 

project info:

 

project title: softie

architecture: OPA | @opa_architects

location: mill valley, california

principals in charge: zoë prillinger, luke ogrydziak

project architect: yuki bowman

project team: dave bowen

contractor: FGC

status: built

area: 6,500 square feet (nearly 1,200 square feet ‘softened’)

photography: naaro@studio_naaro & joe fletcher@joefletcherphoto