A Panoramic Hillside Gem Hits Market Outside San Francisco For $6.5 Million

by Keith Flamer | Forbes

86 Sugarloaf Drive in Tiburon, California is listed for $6.5 million.

Beautiful hillside curiosities are nothing new in Tiburon, California—a former Marin County railroad hub whose name means “shark” in Spanish. Wildflowers engulf iconic Old St. Hilary’s, a spectacular landmark hillside church that originally served as a mission house of worship for local railroad workers in 1888.

Old St. Hilary's, a landmark hillside church in Tiburon, California.

Now an ultra modern Bay Area hillside novelty comes to market for $6.5 million with views of downtown San Francisco, the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. Nestled on Sugarloaf Drive in one of the Bay Area’s most coveted communities, this five bedroom, 3.5 bathroom residence covers 4,000 square feet with wide open vistas, sleek interiors, an elevator, and a 1,000-square foot terrace.

The 4,000-square-foot home has a wide open floor plan, 1,000-square foot terrace and panoramic vistas.

Crafted from glass, stucco and cedar wood, the clean, bright residence offers soaring double-height ceilings, skylights, high-end finishes and large open rooms. This includes four upper-floor bedrooms (one a hotel-style master suite with huge wrap-around windows, walk-in closets and mosaic tile master bathroom shower) and another en-suite guest bedroom on the main level with terrace access.

The Great Room offers views of Mt. Tam, Belvedere lagoon, Angel Island, the Golden Gate Bridge and downtown San Francisco.

Designed by architect Ted Bonneau of OXB Studio, the home is distinguished by a gorgeous compartmentalized wooden façade, large decks, a sweeping lawn, and infrastructure for a future in-ground swimming pool—all on a third of an acre. A soothing exterior fountain creates a sense of arrival.

The kitchen has features stainless steel appliances, a walk-in pantry and a large center island bar.

The residence was a major renovation of a 1968-built home of solid wood wall construction (which had no studs, an extremely rare approach even for the 1960s). Completed in mid-2017, the home’s new framing is Douglas fir with a vivid quarter-sawn clear cedar siding.

Dining space

Stairwell with double height ceilings and skylights.

Bonneau’s design intent was to create a crisp, minimalist residence with a highly functional open floor plan to accentuate striking views and bathe the interior with natural light.

Great Room with fireplace and terrace access

A Great Room includes a customized gas fireplace, high ceilings and living and dining spaces that open to the large entertainment terrace with dramatic 180-degree views of Mt. Tam, Belvedere lagoon, Angel Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and downtown. The luxury kitchen features stainless steel appliances, custom cabinets, a walk-in pantry and a large center island bar counter (with mirrored backsplash) that seats four people.

Family Room

An adjacent family room includes its own gas fireplace, a butler’s service area (also with mirrored backsplash), a dual-zone wine refrigerator and retractable glass doors leading to the main terrace. There’s also a formal powder room. The elevator stops on all three levels of the home.

The five bedroom home includes a master suite a with huge wrap-around windows.

Sleek master bathroom

Although the Tiburon offers breathtaking panoramas, the steeply sloped landscape proved a construction challenge. The residence steps down as the grade slopes (which combined with the home’s exterior materials blends with the natural surroundings)—yet the serene outdoor spaces (lawn, patio, huge deck) are level for maximum view and relaxation (Bonneau’s design goal). The various levels are delineated by disconnected rooflines which are striking amid neighboring structures.

Designed by OXB Studio, the residence is crafted from glass, stucco and cedar wood.

“On the exterior, the existing building had some cool forms but it had the same heavy, extending flat roof overhangs all the way around at the same elevation,” says Bonneau. “We felt that we could accentuate the existing shapes of the building by cutting off the overhang on some of them while maintaining it on others. We also played with different materials (cedar and stucco) on different forms. The result is this interlocking of forms with different materials and different heights and roof profiles. We chose this style because it is both visually interesting but at the same time not overdone.”

The design features interlocking forms, varied materials, and different heights and roof profiles.

The residence is loaded with smart technology, including remote-controlled fireplaces, infrared gas barbecue, smart lighting controls, energy-efficient LED lighting, multi-zone radiant heat, and a five-camera security system.

Warmed by an exterior fire pit and surrounded by other multimillion-dollar homes, the dual-driveway contemporary residence is adjacent to Tiburon’s protected areas which offer immediate access to hiking, running and biking trails.

View of downtown San Francisco and hiking trails

Located just north of San Francisco, the hamlet of Tiburon was established with a Mexican land grant. The town was formerly a freight stop on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad—its Railroad & Ferry Depot Museum now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tiburon has since transformed into a picturesque waterfront tourist haven with ferry access to San Francisco and Angel Island. It rests near quaint, Utopian-sounding towns like Mill Valley, Belvedere and Strawberry.

View of Golden Gate Bridge

The Sugarloaf Drive home is co-listed by Tracy McLaughlin of Pacific Union Real Estate in Marin County and Barbara Major of Sotheby’s International Real Estate in Mill Valley.