The owners of this home were looking for a fresh, modern update to two non-descript bathrooms. After reviewing options for layout and materials, we made the decision to keep the palette consistent for both bathrooms. As such, the rooms are designed as variations on the same theme: an exploration of contrast in color and textures.
A simple palette of bamboo, white and gray are augmented in special locations--the backsplash at the sink and the seat in the shower--with bold red tile. Mirrored, bamboo medicine cabinets above the sinks conceal indirect lighting. In the lower bathroom, a bamboo shelf is practical, holding vases and candles, and also provides a strong visual horizontal line that works in tandem with the vertical mirror at the sink.
The trimless glass shower enclosures make the small spaces feel larger by limiting noticeable divisions between the various functions. The tile in the showers extends to the rest of the room as a wainscot, which also makes the room appear larger and cohesive.
The shower's long narrow stone tile is sleek and simple, while the niche's dark pebble backwall, similar in color, provides contrasting texture. The glass mosaic tile backsplash at the sinks adds texture while making a visual connection to the color of the shower seats.
Architect of Record:
Michael Tauber Architecture
Design Architect: Butler Armsden
Interior Designer: April Sheldon Design
This main house sits within the heart of a Napa Valley vineyard. It is organized to maintain a closed face to the public for privacy and an open face to the vineyard around the house once inside the home. Three spine walls consisting of stone reinforce this dichotomy of access and extend into the landscape. One of these spines becomes the gateway to the auto court, the formal entry to the house. In juxtaposition to the stone walls are stucco frames comprised of the roof plane and fin walls at corners. These frame the view to the vineyard and create indoor/outdoor transition spaces. The building sits on slightly raised tiled plinth distinguishing the man-made from the surrounding natural landscape. The floor tiles are continuous from inside to outside, reinforcing this effect and creating a continuity of space. A rich palette of materials including wood, stone and blackened steel bring the generous ceiling heights to human scale. Unique and custom features include 8 feet wide by 10 feet high, 3-inch thick, custom-laid-up, wood pocket doors, a hanging steel and wood wine rack, custom steel fireplace surrounds and a steel, glass and wood custom 10-feet-high door.
With Michael Willis Architects
A new belt-press facility separates solid waste from liquid as a pre-treatment process. The building form reflects the use with the belt press at the top level of the building. This area, which includes a testing station, is wrapped in windows to allow for improved light and working conditions. The materials--concrete, stainless steel doors, aluminum windows and zinc panels--are intended to provide long life in a harsh environment.
Client: Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin, Mill Valley
Role: Architect for Administration Building, Sub consultant to Prime Engineering Consultant, Carollo Engineers
Scope of Work: MTA was tasked to upgrade the outmoded 1981 era Administration Building and Laboratory at SASM, a public agency Waste Water Treatment Plant, in Mill Valley, California. There were four major areas of upgrade requested by the Agency, expand and reconfigure the laboratory, upgrade the accessibility, provide energy efficient lighting throughout and provide mechanical cooling. To accomplish these tasks, MTA is proposing a 1,000 square foot addition and remodel to the 4,300 square foot building. The existing building is fortress like, defined by berms and the dark metal roof. MTA recognized an opportunity to create a new, more welcoming, public face for the building by designing a lab which has large windows that both allow the users of the lab views out and natural light in while also permitting visitors to look into the operation of the new lab, reinforcing the public mission of the facility.
Duration- Design Started February 2016, ongoing.
Fee/Costs of Services – (Architectural) –– $112,720 anticipated (Construction Administration excluded)
Construction Costs: $2,200,000 (estimated)
Lead Architect: Michael Tauber, AIA
Mark Grushayev/ WWT Manager
Sewerage Agency of Southern Marin/
City of Mill Valley
Office (415) 388-2402 / Fax (415) 381-8128
Mr. Grushayev is the Project Manager of the Administration Building and Plant upgrades at SASM and the City of Mill Valley.
The new gate house is not only the entry portal to an estate it also houses the main electrical switch gear for the property and an emergency generator. The building is composed of three parts --a stucco folded plane (wall and roof) and the corresponding cube that was removed from the box to create the folded plane; a steel plane which comprises the plane of entry – vehicle and man gates; and a stone-filled gabion wall which is the feature wall within which the address is prominently displayed. A custom entry kiosk of painted steel and stainless steel is similar in detail to the roof and wall form.
Architect of Record:
Michael Tauber Architecture
Design Architect: Butler Armsden
Interior Designer: April Sheldon Design
This 2200-square-foot guesthouse sits at the edge of a large parcel of land in the wine country. The building is divided into two wings in an L configuration, a bedroom wing and a public wing. This configuration creates a privately contained landscape while maintaining privacy to the street.
Two long, narrow, horizontal windows on the street sides maintain privacy for the inhabitants while framing views of the rolling hills from the interiors. Once inside the house one enters a great room containing the living room, dining room and kitchen with floor-to-ceiling glass walls that visually connect interiors to the exterior.
The flat roofs, with long overhangs, provide shade to the south and a strong juxtaposition to the rolling hills. The broad patios underneath the overhangs provide an extension of the interior space and a transition to the landscape
Project Manager | Project Architect
with Ross Drulis Cusenberry Architecture
This 6700-square-foot, tenant improvement sought to maintain the spatial qualities of the 1960's-era former bank, while bringing about a new use as an architecture firm’s office and also updating the overall appearance. Care was taken in the details, such as lighting fixture selection, to make reference to the modernism of the original building.
The former bank lobby has been transformed into an open studio space for 35 workstations and the reception area. New light-steel stairs connect the studio to an upper gallery. Within the gallery, a new display wall following the existing curve has been erected to provide space for local art exhibitions.
Size: 6,700 sf
The client, a collector of cars and motorcycles, commissioned Michael Tauber Architecture to design a master bedroom addition to his southwest-style stucco house, a new guest house, and a new garage with office and lounge to house his collection.
The guest house and garage bookend the existing pool to create a courtyard open to the west while framing a view of the wild grass field. The buildings utilize the existing flat-roof height as a datum for the addition and new buildings’ flat ‘green’ roofs. The flat roofs in general sit in juxtaposition to sloping roofs that open to views and emit light high into the spaces.
At the garage, the high bay work space in the garage is celebrated in form by the large butterfly roof. This roof is also shaped to provide natural, passive ventilation by taking wind into the space low from the west and exhausting it high to the east.
The stucco base of the buildings, with large expansive windows and garage doors, are provided with wood slatted screens--vertical on the west and horizontal on the south which provide solar heat gain protection, allow views through to the surrounding landscape and provide texture to the building material palette.
The owner of this craftsman-style home with many nice features, but a dated and poorly designed kitchen, contacted Michael Tauber Architecture with the notion of providing a great room to let the kids and adults spread out. Rather than going to the expense of adding to the existing footprint, MTA developed plans that would reorganize the kitchen. This included providing a social sitting area and opening up the existing living room to the kitchen to create the feeling of a great room with much less cost.
A small, 50-square-foot addition provided the room necessary to allow for double French doors extending the kitchen and opening out to the owner's lovely garden. Above the addition, a deck was created off of a new bedroom for one of the owners’ daughters. The deck allows the rear elevation to continue the stepping up from garden to house, connecting house and garden visually.
The new bedroom and a new shared bathroom for the couple's two daughters were created from an office and formerly enclosed porch. The new bathroom freed up the other bathroom on the floor to be remodeled and used as a master bath with access from the master bedroom, thoroughly updating and refining the previous bathroom.
The warm-yet-modern aesthetic was the result of architect and owner working closely and collaboratively. As with all clients, Michael Tauber Architecture presented different options for finishes, fixtures and cabinets, allowing the owner to be empowered in the process while ensuring receipt of a project they love now and will continue to love into the future.
The owner, a bachelor in his early forties, wished to add a vertical addition to his 1,200-square-foot house that sits on a 22- by 38-foot lot. After pursuing options for this expansion, it became clear that the politics of the neighborhood would make it impossible for the plans to be realized.
To better accommodate his entertaining lifestyle within the existing square footage, the kitchen and dining room were opened up into one informal space that enables continuous flow between the kitchen and the game room above.
Within the kitchen/dining room the focal point is a split island--half of which is a cooking work area with a range top and the other half a three-inch thick, solid, cantilevered, walnut dining table with bookshelves anchoring the cooktop end.
Parallel walls of walnut cabinetry emphasize the linearity of the space while making it appear longer and therefore larger. The cabinets are held below the ceiling line to provide cove lighting which helps creates the perception of a taller space. A work station was included in the space, near the rear doors and natural light, to accommodate the owner’s need to telecommute.
File storage was provided in the nearby walnut cabinet via three built-in, lateral file drawers. The same cabinet also contains a liquor bar, for easy access, and tall storage for items rarely used.
Role: Michael Tauber Project Manager/Project Architect for Michael Willis Architects
Scope of Work: This 5,300-square-foot, cleanwater laboratory in Corte Madera, California provides a new public face for the Water District's corporation yard. The laboratory's open plan (without walls) allows for an open, light-filled, airy space that assists with communication between analysts.
Each lab bay has an analytical, window-lined bay that allows views out and a more intimate, personalized space to document the analyses. These bays are represented on the building exterior providing human scale and character to the overall building appearance.
The office side of the lab is organized to allow the shared library/conference room/break area a view to adjacent Mount Tamalpais. The private offices and carrels line the library allowing ease of access to shared materials. Natural light is brought into the center of the building via skylights. These are located to highlight critical junctures in the circulation. Slot windows on the exterior of the lab are located at heights related to the work heights of the users inside, allowing selective views to the exterior while maintaining the maximum usable interior space.
Fee/Costs of Services: (Architectural) –– $275,000
Construction Costs: $2,700,000
Lead Architect: Michael Tauber, AIA (Project Architect)
This project consisted of work on three bathrooms and a powder room.
Kids’ bathroom remodel:
The kids' bathroom was reorganized to create three zones: a wet room within the room, a sink area and a toilet area. The door into the bathroom was relocated to align with the existing window to bring more light to the hallway and to create a lighter space in general. The toilet was placed to be wrapped around the wet room and out of sight from the hallway.
The new linear calacatta oro countertop hovers over two, open, knee spaces with teak-slatted shelves near the floor for towel storage. A shallow cabinet was built above the sink that houses mirrors, a medicine cabinet in the teak face and major lighting in the area located in both the top and bottom of the cabinet.
The existing guest bathroom was small and cramped with a bathtub that was hard for the elderly parents to use. To create a more generous-feeling room, fixtures were relocated, space was a taken from the underutilized closet in the adjacent hallway and the door relocated to create an arrival point between the walk-in shower and the toilet-sink area. The generous shower includes a tiled walk-in bench. A wall- to-wall mirror above the toilet and sink also assists in creating the perception of a larger space. The open space below the sink and cabinet allows for a perception of a larger space. Materials were chosen to create a calming Zen-like space.
The client requested a change in look and feel from the utilitarian sink, mirror and white walls. Michael Tauber Architecture designed the room to give a rustic yet modern look, utilizing a big color and warm walnut tones offset by the bronze vessel sink.
A repeat client, recently retired, wanted to add to her family’s home to create a home office and to expand their master bedroom to incorporate a master bathroom and a walk in closet. The current house configuration has a void to the north of the previously remodeled kitchen, MTA’s first project. The strategy was to expand into the void space to minimize the changes to the other parts of the house. This strategy also allowed for a two story second living room/office space with a floor to ceiling library at the property line wall. This space will be light filled and connect with the rear yard. Above the office/living space will be the expanded bedroom with an outdoor deck to take advantage of the western sun. A new master suite will be created out of the existing bedroom and closet.
Role: Michael Tauber Project Architect for Michael Willis Architects
Scope of Work: This wastewater, quality-testing lab for a public agency, CCCSD, is organized into a hard analytical lab and a computation office side. This organization allows for cost savings by separating the more complex and expensive HVAC equipment of the analysis from the simpler office needs. Within the building, care was taken both in planning and in detail to provide a livable, non-sterile, productive environment. Individual analyses are organized into pods open to a corridor which allows user interaction as well as access to common agents. The labs’ large windows allow for natural light and views to the surrounding landscape, improving the quality of the work environment and reducing energy usage in artificial lighting. Heat gain and glare are minimized by louvered screens constructed of sustainably harvested Ipe wood. Wood is also used at the building corridor ceilings to create a less sterile, more comfortable working environment. End of corridors are glass walls to connect interiors to the exterior and to bring light into the middle of the building. The office side of the building is composed of an airy, light-filled carrel area with custom maple wood library and private offices. The office at the perimeter have glass walls on two sides allowing light to reach deep into the carrel space and to allow for views to the outside for both the analysts and the management of the lab. The building was sited to create a landscaped, outdoor, patio break area to the south and a rolling lawn to the north, which allows for future expansion.
Fee/Costs of Services
Construction Costs: $3,500,000
Lead Architect: Michael Tauber, AIA (Project Architect)
The client, a graphic designer known for the design of avant garde and creative wine packaging, bought this late 1940's ranch house almost 20 years ago. Over the years, she has remodeled her home into a warm, modern retreat and has become a patron of architecture in the process.
Her final remodel involved reworking the arrival to her house from street to door. The first and foremost concern in the design brief was a covered area at the front door to keep her frequent guests dry upon arrival. She also wanted the entry to provide covered storage for firewood and easy access to the recycling cans that had previously been inconveniently and unceremoniously housed in the driveway. Lastly, she wanted stairs that were gradual and minimal so that her elderly parents and injured dogs could easily navigate the walk to the entry.
The entire brief was handled through the addition of a new concrete structure that provides log storage in a recess on one side, accessed off the stair, while an opening from the opposite side houses the trash and recycling containers. A new outdoor room, complete with natural light from skylights, was created by extending the existing roof along the length of the house. A sealed cedar beam placed on top of the concrete structure reinforces the direction of flow up the stairs, while framing a view from the inside of the bamboo wall that separates the client from her neighbor.
The front garden, formerly French and informal in style, was redesigned to create new functional uses and to provide harmony between the landscape and the new construction. A bench designed by the client and her father focuses attention to a basalt rock fountain, offset by a beautiful and productive Meyer lemon tree and a tiered natural landscape. The redwood bench connects visually to the new beam at the entry and easily accommodates seating for eight people, ideal for the early morning tea she shares with her frequent weekend guests from San Francisco.
A series of different textures and subtle green color variations composes the tiered landscape, sitting in juxtaposition to a loosely-laid rock wall that aligns with the beams and directs the visitor down the concrete pad steps. The pads are separated and offset horizontally as to appear to be floating. River rocks laid between the steps add an additional texture and color. The new entry provides a direct and functional, yet decidedly modern, improvement to the existing residence.
MTA was commissioned to expand and reconsider the lobby of a office building on a corner near the financial district in San Francisco. The buildings existing pedestrian pass through would be enclosed creating the larger lobby. Through color, lighting and materials the design would create an exciting and appealing lobby while freshening up the 1980s design. The defining features of the deign are a proposed wood benched sitting niche, clad in red walls and floor, with new windows along the street façade which will figuratively and literally animate the street. New wood wall cladding will line the existing yellow brick walls and extend out to the street leading the users into the lobby. The ceiling will pared away at the wood walls to provide a lighting cove further highlighting the walls and gaining more headroom. The wood walls at the exterior would be carved out to reveal the existing brick and serve as a backdrop for new signage.