Articles

Prairie Style on the Bay

Archi-Tech Magazine

Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright but "wired" for the 21st century, a spectacular home is under way on DeSilva Island in Marin County with a water's edge view of San Francisco.

The dramatic 4000 square ft. residence is one of two estate homes planned for the island, which is being developed as an advanced digital community of luxury townhomes - with high-speed voice/data capability, whole-house distributed audio/video, HVAC and environmental controls, and security surveillance, monitoring and alarm protection.

Prairie Style on the Bay Archi-Tech Magazine Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright but "wired" for the 21st century, a spectacular home is under way on DeSilva Island in Marin County with a water's edge view of San Francisco. The dramatic 4000 square ft. residence is one of two estate homes planned for the island, which is being developed as an advanced digital community of luxury townhomes - with high-speed voice/data capability, whole-house distributed audio/video, HVAC and environmental controls, and security surveillance, monitoring and alarm protection.

"The island is part of where the market is going of people who can electronically commute from home," says developer Augustin Rosas-Maxemin, "where one can actually enjoy the benefits of a digital world - whether related to sound, to security, communications, data processing, etc. With central processing units, it all becomes unified and you can do as much as you want to do with the house - lighting, appliances, anything you want."

The FLW-inspired estate was designed by Paul Gilger of Hedgpeth Architects in Santa Rosa, who was influenced both by Wright's Darwin D. Martin house in Buffalo and by his famous Fallingwater. The home's electronic infrastructure has been designed by Alfredo Zaparolli of TechLinea Design Associates (TDA), which is providing fiber optic-based structured wiring and integrated systems capability for all the island's new residences.

"I wanted to do it from the very beginning," says Rosas-Maxemin about the development's state-of-the-art infrastructure which also allows intra-community networking. "My idea for the two single-family homes is that they will complement the island - make a unique statement, have their own identity, yet relate to the architecture of the townhouses." For the FLW-style house, he said, "the idea is to try to capture the magic of Fallingwater because we are on the water, the columns are in the water.

Both single-family homes are replacing existing structures which had badly deteriorated. While technically a "remodel", the 1920's Prairie-style house, with an addition built in the 1960's, is being fully reconstructed, Gilger explains, based on its most prominent feature - the two vertical piers that come up out of the water." The piers remind Gilger of the Darwin D. Martin house, which he admits "is one of my favorite Frank Lloyd Wright houses - probably his largest Prairie house, done in the early 1900's.

Written by John Andrews