This lovely beach home in Stinson Beach is 100 yards from the Pacific Ocean. Innovative but quite small, this beach house features stunning views of the mountains along the coast in addition to various vistas of the village and the ocean.

The location is two thirds of the interest. Nestled between the mountains and the ocean, the environment couldn't be more interesting or beautiful, with stunning mountain trails within ten minutes' walk and the beach just beyond a stone's throw. The house is set up as a vacation rental and is fully outfitted for short term or long term stays. Coupled with another house in the neighborhood, the two structures with their gardens make a beautiful and quite comfortable pair. Details for rental of the house can be found on VRBO on the web. Just enter property #456213 in the search box.

The project was developed with the intention of creating housing that's green AND small — two concepts in our estimation that must be combined in American architecture to search for environmental balance. In this way, this two-story structure is far ahead of the curve. In its creation, we have explored the relationship between having a high quality experience with light as well as a combined interior/exterior environment while making the smallest environmental impact. The intention was to carefully fit the house to the site and to an existing community while making the house as versatile and enjoyable as possible.

Building within this curve means giving up the excessive spaciousness that has come to define homes in America — an addiction that's very hard to break. Of course with that, there are other sacrifices as well: giving up many of the accommodations that occur as a result of abundant space use, finding alternatives to materials made with formaldehyde, training carpenters in green building techniques and in letting go of some of the traditional looks associated with rural village design. But this work doesn't mean losing quality in the built environment. The interior of this multilevel home is as interesting an expression of creativity as we can find within the confines of our current regulations and built environment. To round out our efforts, we have fitted this home with energy efficient fixtures throughout, passive solar heating and a solar array. Skylights and carefully placed windows provide plenty of light and air.