North Bay Eichler

Watertight, retractable skylight transforms Eichler atrium into year-round living space.

As fans of Eichler-designed homes, owners of this Marin County house appreciated the light and fresh air their atrium provided. Nevertheless, the space remained underutilized because of its exposure to the elements. The homeowners explored options to transform the atrium into more livable space.

Once the watertight, retractable skylight was installed, owners Bill and Paula started enjoying the atrium day and night, year round. “It was like putting an addition on our house. When it’s warm outside, we can leave it open, so we have the original open atrium that many of us treasure in our Eichlers. Or we can partially open it, for cooling or warming. Then, as it really cools off later in the day—and when the “Lucas Valley wind” kicks in—we close it. It’s watertight, so we have indoor or indoor-outdoor furnishings. A friend told us, ‘Wow, you’ve got your own conservatory or orangery!’ What a great place to have breakfast, lunch, or cocktail hour!”