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Majestically located alongside the Inverness Ridge Trail connecting Limantour Road and Mt Vision, this incredible West Marin property includes two iconic buildings designed by celebrated architect Daniel Liebermann on a unique one acre-plus parcel of land with a storied and significant history.
This spectacular site features magnificent views overlooking the Olema Valley and Mt. Tamalpais with outlooks to the ocean and Pt. Reyes, and two side by side indoor spaces designed by Liebermann, who worked with Frank Lloyd Wright on the Marin County Civic Center in 1960, among other notable organic-form projects.
A pioneer in his field, Liebermann is known for creating curved structures that employ wood, glass, metal, and concrete to integrate interior spaces with the environment. Each of his homes bear his distinct signature feature, a central column with a radially framed roof, creating a “tree house” effect. Liebermann designed thirty organically themed structures, and his homes, such as the Mill Valley “Radius House,” have been featured in the New York Times, Dwell, and on Marin County Home & Garden Tours.
In addition to its unique architecture, 200 Sunnyside has a rich cultural past with roots in the San Francisco renaissance of the late 50’s and 60’s. The property is owned by Mark Watts, the son of celebrated Zen philosopher Alan Watts, and has been home to the Alan Watts studios and archive, and to both Liebermann and his friend Henry ‘Sandy’ Jacobs, a pioneering sound engineer.
With a wide variety of sheltered outdoor living spaces, this distinctive property has the added upside of permitted expansion. There are approved architectural plans by Daniel Liebermann to expand and upgrade the Lodge to include a master bedroom and circular deck, and an expanded curved-wall bathroom and laundry room.
Enter the residence by walking down a scenic central stairway to arrive at a landing for the two buildings. On the left is “The Lodge,” a one-of-a-kind 1,200 square foot open living space and great room. Like most of Liebermann’s homes, the lodge is constructed on a radial frame, with curving exterior walls and exposed beams, woodwork, and concrete retaining walls. The expansive shape nestles into the slope of the property, maximizing eastern and southern light and the surrounding views.
In the middle of the room a central column, made from steel and concrete, resembles an industrial “tree” with branches of radiating wooden beams. The space was built using locally sourced and fabricated materials, including wood from fallen fir and elm trees, structural center supports welded by a local sculptor, and has both active and passive solar elements integrated into the design according to principles of sustainable architecture.
With 14-foot-high ceilings above, and buckskin concrete floors offering radiant heat below, the contemporary open space includes a sunken living room, wood burning fireplace, and open kitchen offering elm slab wood surfaces. Around the perimeter of the room, an enormous, curved back wall is fronted by faceted walls with abundant operable windows, bringing the outside inside and stretching the structure’s perceived dimensions toward the distant vistas.
Watts explains why Liebermann favored the radial design: “Liebermann’s idea is that people have a very deep animal nature,” says Watts, “and traditional homes don’t really make us feel comfortable. However, when we go into the central pillar homes with their radiating ‘bird’s nest’ rafters, we feel innately so much more at home. It has a very calming psychological effect.”
Workshop and Studio
Across the path from the Lodge, enter the Workshop and Studio. Designated as a ceramics workshop, the studio is a cozier 1,100 square foot eclectic open space, also designed with a signature central column, topped by a skylight, and surrounded by Liebermann’s signature radially framed roof.
The custom-made interior, featured in Handmade Houses (by Richard Olsen), offers two loft spaces, one supported by a tree trunk, and another “office” loft topped by a skylight roof. The studio features a creative assortment of custom nooks and living spaces, including a concrete bunker that once housed Alan Watts’ archives. From two exterior doors, head outside to sheltered outdoor spaces, including a greenhouse covered flagstone patio with open air kitchen sink and laundry, and in front a deck featuring a solar powered metal hot tub with a view of the ocean.
Iconic Views and Outdoor Spaces
Walk along meandering pathways to explore several outbuildings, including a cabin that was designed to rotate on its axis, with a separate shower and bath, and deck with scenic outlooks. Another cabin at the top of the property has been used as an office and includes a deck with a dramatic park and ocean vista.
Step off the property and directly onto world class hiking (biking and e-biking) trails spanning the Point Reyes Peninsula, an area of unrivaled natural beauty. Take the Inverness Ridge trail to Mt. Vision, Mt. Wittenberg, Sky Camp, Muddy Hollow, or head all the way out to Limantour beach and its Estero-view and Coast Camp trails.
Additional Features and Highlights:
The wide-open, picture-perfect spaces of West Marin include the coastal communities of Stinson Beach and Bolinas; the dairy farms of Olema, Point Reyes Station, Tomales, and Nicasio; and the forest glens of Lagunitas, San Geronimo, and Woodacre.
Uniting all West Marin communities is a love for the land. That’s not going to change soon, thanks to the efforts of Marin Agricultural Land Trust, an organization dedicated to preserving farmland through voluntary conservation easements.
Outdoor recreation ranges from surfing at Bolinas and Stinson Beach to mountain biking on Mount Tamalpais and the annual Dipsea foot race to Stinson Beach. West Marin is an area of unrivaled natural beauty, one that can lay claim to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Beach State Bark, Stinson Beach State Park, Muir Woods National Monument, and Point Reyes National Seashore.
Of course it’s not all about the outdoors in West Marin. Devotees of inner peace turn to the Green Gulch FarmZen Center in Muir Beach and Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre. And for those who need to feed the belly as well as the soul, Point Reyes Station has become a destination for the locavore movement. The town is home to Marin Sun Farms, purveyor of ethically raised and butchered meat, and Cowgirl Creamery, which makes its award-winning cheeses using organic milk from nearby Straus Family Creamery.