Magazine article Sunset

A Large Small House

Magazine article Sunset

A Large Small House

Article excerpt

In 1923 sunset published an article describing Berkeley architect Bernard Maybeck's notion of the one-room house. His idea was to incorporate home and garden into a single unit, thereby doubling the living space. That simple, strong concept has reverberated since then in residential design in the mild-climate West. And it appears with renewed vigor in the 640-square-foot weekend house that architects Mary Griffin and Bill Turnbull built in a California hillside vineyard near the Napa Valley. Like the orderly rows of grapevines surrounding it, their house forms a compelling partnership with the land.

Jurors loved it. "The house is 10 feet wide, but it has a 50- by 50-foot living room, which is the green lawn framed in the center of the site," said Frances Halsband. Paulett Taggart said, "I think it's amazing for this little amount of building to command this much outside space." "That's the key," Walter Hood added. "There is so much big in the smallness of it. …

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