Glass House That Catches the ‘Fog Waves’ Rolling Into California’s Bay Area Lists for $10.5 Million – Mansion Global

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A sustainable glass house on San Francisco’s East Bay, priced at $10.5 million, has come on the market for the first time.

The sum, if attained, would set a record for the highest recorded price per square foot—$1,694.92—in the city of Orinda, which is just east of Oakland, and would be second only to the $12.5 million purchase price set in the city in 2018, said Ann Newton Cane of Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, who’s listing the home on Friday. 

Designed by Robert Swatt of Swatt Miers Architects, a San Francisco-area firm that has won scores of design awards, the site-specific cantilevered house “is in a league of its own,” Newton Cane said. “It’s a gem, a one-of-a-kind piece of art that has a feeling of impossible lightness. And it’s completely private, which is huge out here—you feel like you’re in your own world.”

The sellers, Stephen Baus, a partner at the San Francisco-based private equity firm JH Partners, and Elizabeth Baus, a retired lawyer, bought the property in 2016 for $2.695 million, according to records, tore down the 1960 house that was there and spent more than three years building the new modern-style residence.

The Bauses—he was born and raised in Orinda, and he and his wife went to the University of California, Berkeley—wanted to build a house that maximized the views and was different from the neighboring ranches.

“It’s a thoughtful house that is relatable to its geography,” he said, adding that although it is prominently positioned, the neighboring properties are not visible. “We are 10 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge and have 180-degree views of West Oakland and Berkeley Hills. You can see the famous marine layer fog waves as they catch the sunlight and roll in.”

The property, which is next to the sixth and seventh holes of the Orinda Country Club’s golf course, is surrounded by mature trees and a walking path. 

The 5,355-square-foot house, snuggled seamlessly into the landscape atop a hill, features expansive wraparound decks to blend indoor and outdoor spaces.

The infinity-edge pool is one of the elements that blurs the lines between the outdoor spaces and the natural landscape.

Jason Wells Photography

“I liked the concept of indoor-outdoor living,” Baus said. “The house opens up very well. You can be cooking a meal inside but still feel like you’re outside.”

Newton Cane added that “when you walk in, your eyes get caught in the walls of glass that lead them to the views.”

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The two-level house, which has four bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, is powered primarily by 40 solar panels and two Tesla batteries. “We’re pretty much off the grid,” Baus said.

The 9-foot Western red cedar entry door opens to 14-foot ceilings, a glass-enclosed, refrigerated wine cellar that holds 750 bottles, a wet bar, a media room and a glass-enclosed fireplace. Travertine floors western red cedar paneling crafted to create a continuous linear element throughout the space are among the residence’s uber-luxurious materials and finishes. A sound system in the walls and ceilings provides mood music.

The primary suite has retractable window shades that block the sun and an adjoining office and a laundry.

“The interior walls don’t have baseboards, which makes them look as though they are floating in air,” Newton Cane said, adding that the minimalist design continues in the kitchen, where the handleless cabinets are subtly accessible, and everything, including a wet bar behind a door, is cunningly concealed.

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The glass and white oak wood staircase, she said, is one of “the vertical moments employed to break up the horizontal lines of the house. It has an ethereal, heavenly feel.”

The property’s outdoor amenities include a pond and water feature near the entrance, an infinity-edge pool, a fire pit that seats 10 and a resort-style hot tub

The 1.43-acre property also has an 840-square-foot guest house that has a bedroom, a living area, a bathroom and a view-exploiting terrace. Reached via a stone staircase down the hill, “you can’t see it from the main house,” Newton Cane said. “It’s so private it’s like having a second, separate house.”

The guest house is further down the hill, a placement that provides maximum privacy.

Jason Wells Photography

The Bauses, who are 58, recently bought a new primary residence in Park City, Utah.

“I love to ski, and we also wanted to be closer to our daughter, who lives in New York City,” he said. “The Orinda house is so amazing that we thought it would be a shame for it to sit empty.”

Orinda, which was listed as one of the “11 Richest Cities in California in 2024” by the real estate platform PropertyClub, is close to San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, making it what Newton Cane called “a bucolic enclave with an injection of culture.”

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