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May 22, 2024

Tour a California guesthouse by Mork-Ulnes Architects


What used to be an old garage is now a minimalist California guesthouse, courtesy of the San Francisco- and Oslo-based architecture studio of Casper Mork-Ulnes. Built on the footprint and foundation of its previous incarnation, Crest is a new Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) set on a leafy hillside of Marin County. The result? A compact home that elevates the experience of being in a pared-down vacation cabin through design. 

(Image credit: Bruce Damonte)

Tour Crest: a new California guesthouse

Mork-Ulnes and his team worked on the little cabin’s volume in a way that maximises views and the sense of space. The guesthouse features a sharply angled roofline that echoes the site’s slope. It allows for a high clerestory window above the cabinetry wall, which floods the interior with light.

California guesthouse with wood kitchen and ladder to mezzanine

(Image credit: Bruce Damonte)

The structure is clad in cement board outside (used to provide a fire-resistant skin in the densely wooded hillside) and Douglas fir veneer plywood panelling inside. The material selection not only provides a sleek envelope for living, it also allows for ease of maintenance. 

Wood-lined contemporary cabin interior with kitchen, clerestory window, and fully open glazed front to terrace

(Image credit: Bruce Damonte)

The just 38 sq m guesthouse also features a large glazed opening towards the site’s long vistas, which draws back to open the interior completely to the outdoors, allowing guests to spill out onto a generous decked terrace overlooking the tree canopy beyond. Living space is maximised in a way that makes the most of California’s mild climate and enhances the indoor/outdoor relationship. 

Wood-lined cabin interior, fully open to terrace

(Image credit: Bruce Damonte)

A staircase leads up to the bedroom unit, which is located on a mezzanine. Below, a rolling kitchen island can be moved where it’s needed – inside or outside. More adaptability is displayed in the murphy bed on the same level, which can be hidden in the wall during the day.

wood-lined contemporary cabin interior with fold-down bed

(Image credit: Bruce Damonte)

So successful was the design, it’s already being used as a family home – albeit temporarily – the architects write: ‘The ADU is currently being used by the owners as their vacation cabin while their main house is being renovated.’

green mosaic-tiled bathroom, looking out to cabin interior

(Image credit: Bruce Damonte)

morkulnes.com





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