Varda Landing is a 13,128 square foot artist community set across three parcels that face the historic shores of the San Francisco Bay in Sausalito, CA.
Inspired by the city’s shipbuilding and artistic past, the project boasts three artist live-work residences with attached creative spaces as well as a 9,952 square foot art studio building comprised of ten shared workspaces and four private studios, flexible exhibition galleries, and outdoor gathering spaces for culinary and art events.
The refined, minimal palette of shou sugi ban, cedar, and metal mesh speaks to both the client’s connection to Japanese design and the neighborhood’s network of active warehouses. The compound’s proposed materials and form relate to the area’s shipping and industrial history.
Materials at the ground level are tactile and warm, like western red cedar and hand-crafted shou sugi ban wood siding. Higher up the building’s façade, materials become more industrial and subdued to dematerialize the second story volume, which becomes a canvas in of itself.
Set alongside seven docked houseboats, the project aims to embrace the area’s frequent flooding and remain resilient to future sea-level rise.
While all structures are set 2’-6” above grade, the residences will literally float in place on foam-encased foundations, and the landscape’s bioretention swales and flood-friendly plants are designed to guide rising waters as they filter back into the bay.