July 26, 2017

Bay Area Artist’s Residence by Sherry Williamson Uses Only 12 Materials Inside and Out

Inspired by the simplicity of New England colonial architecture, this renovation of a Bay Area residence features clean lines and an ultra eco-friendly sensibility. FSC-certified plain-sawn American white oak covers walls, floors, ceilings, doors, and casework for a refined cabinlike charm. Only 11 other materials are used inside and out, a discerning palette curated by the client, an artist, in collaboration with designer Sherry Williamson.

The homeowner’s approach to composition in her own art consists of simple geometries repeated with subtle variations. That same modus operandi was applied to the house. The existing building already comprised a series of contrasting rectangular volumes. So Williamson used interior horizontal paneling in four different board widths to compose quiet patterns that display a similar sense of tension and balance. No trim, no architraves, just unadorned simplicity.

The industrial-organic mix of the living room fosters a sense of calm. Photography by David Wakely.

Health and well-being are a priority for the client, who wanted to go beyond the issues addressed in the LEED certification process. Each and every building product used was screened for a comprehensive list of more than 900 chemicals of concern. Stainless steel substitutes for brass in plumbing fixtures to eliminate exposure to lead, and alternatives to standard plywood were found to avoid VOCs and formaldehyde occurring in laminate glues. The result of this meticulous renovation? A perfect union between aesthetics, sustainability, and healthfulness.

Project Team: Design Principal: Sherry Williamson. Architect of Record: Andrew Mann Architecture. Structural Engineer: William T. Grizzell. Landscape Architect: Scott Lewis Landscape Architecture. Woodwork: Acapella; Mueller Nicholls Builders. LEED Consultant: Healthy Building Science. General Contractor: McCutcheon Construction. 

This story originally appeared in Interior Design’s Best of Residential book.

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