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Belvedere estate offers stunning views, innovative design

Updated 7:48 pm, Friday, August 2, 2013

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  • The rear of the home looks towards Sausalito and features a large deck for stargazing and entertaining. Photo: Matt McCourtney/McCourtney Photo
    The rear of the home looks towards Sausalito and features a large deck for stargazing and entertaining. Photo: Matt McCourtney/McCourtney Photo

 

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Before reaching out to architect Sandy Walker, Jeff Paster spent hour after hour walking along a 1.14-acre lot in Belvedere, imagining what could be built there.

Admiring the unobstructed views of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco skyline and Sausalito, Paster knew any structure would need to capitalize on the picturesque vistas. He also believed the home would need to be architecturally exciting if it was going to compete with the natural surroundings.

The outcome of their effort is 425 Belvedere Ave., a home defined by multilevel wings, angled slightly toward each other to maximize the views and designer finishes like Calacatta marble, coffered ceilings and custom-built folding doors that integrate the indoors and out.

"The world-class views were the inspiration for the design," Paster said. "And the next goal was to create an estate worthy of the view."

Set at the southwestern tip of Belvedere, the 15,500-square-foot home offers seven bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, for a total of nine full baths and two half-baths. The home has three garages, a 200-foot driveway and a garage roof lawn that can park 15 to 20 cars. More than 5,000 square feet of stone terraces create an elegant outdoor space to take in the views spanning from San Francisco to Sausalito.

The home served as the centerpiece of the 41st Marin Designer Showcase in 2012. Designers from around the region each took a room and decorated it based on their personal style.

Among the designers featured in the home were Suzanne Tucker, David Kensington, Candace Barnes, Gioi Tran, Richard Kasten and Beth Laughlin. The showcase raised more than half a million dollars for charity, the largest sum in the event's history.

Tours enabled people from around the Bay Area to see the estate during the showcase, Paster said, and it highlighted the home's ability to accommodate large groups.

"At one party during the showcase, we entertained nearly 600 guests on the 5,000-square-foot waterfront terraces at the edge of the bay, and they could all take in these amazing views at the same time," he said.

The home is design to remind those inside about the scenery around it. Floor-to-ceiling folding mahogany doors in the living room, dining room, family room, master bedroom and art gallery slide away, revealing breathtaking views of the bay and cityscape, and enabling easy access to the outdoors.

Paster struggles to name a specific room as his favorite. He puts some emphasis on the great room, with its 12-foot coffered ceiling and retracting walls of mahogany and glass. But he's quick to share his affinity for the seamless indoor-outdoor living of the family room and kitchen, which open to a yard with a 50-foot Bizazza glass tile pool on one side and waterfront terrace on the other.

The outdoor spaces don't make his selection process any simpler, Paster said.

"All of the outdoor terraces and grassy areas I consider to be rooms themselves," he said.

With its separate dressing areas, vanities and water closets, the master suite set in its own individual wing represents the estate's elegant yet private layout.

A special standout for Paster: an entertainment gallery with a 50-foot-long art wall standing nearly 12 feet tall.

Like other areas of the home, the entertainment gallery has its own wall of folding glass doors as well as a bar area and full catering kitchen.

In addition to being a decorator's playground, the home is a high-tech paradise. Solar panels provide the majority of the estate's energy, while six in-wall iPads can be used to control the heat, climate control and security systems.

"You can be be in London or Hong Kong and monitor your property or the bay via any of several security cameras," Paster said. "That's pretty cool."

The home will be sold at auction later this month; and the starting bid is $25 million. All bids must be submitted by Aug. 22 at 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.villabelvedereshowcase.com

Listing agent: Olivia Hsu Decker, Decker Bullock Sotheby's International Realty, (415) 435-1600, olivia@sanfranciscofinehomes.com

Details

Address: 425 Belvedere Ave., Belvedere

Price: Starting bid $25 million. Auction bids must be submitted by Aug. 22 at 5 p.m.

Features: Seven bedrooms, nine full bathrooms; a master suite set in its own wing has cedar tray ceilings, a fossil stone terrace and marble tub overlooking San Francisco Bay; entertainment gallery on the lower floor with 50-foot art wall, wet bar and glass doors opening to a stone terrace.