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Modern Style Gone Platinum

A Marin resident follows her heart, goes green and builds the house of her dreams.

IF THERE WAS one pivotal experience in Helene Marsh’s environmental awakening, one that would ultimately determine her career and define the award-winning Tiburon house she would build in 2011, it was the 10 years she spent in the Czech Republic capital city of Prague.

“I lived there during the 1990s and the environmental degradation — the filth, the smog, the pollution — was so bad,” recalls Marsh, who upon her return to the U.S. earned a master’s degree in environmental sciences and became a passionate advocate for reversing climate change. “When I came back to California, I was shocked by how clean it was,” she adds.

Her new house, a sleek, big-windowed, two-story structure, is a deliberate reflection of her heightened ecological sensibilities and “a consequence of seeing those poor conditions in Prague,” she says. Situated on a sunny hillside, the 3,500-square-foot four-bedroom, four-bathroom home with a view of San Francisco Bay rests quietly on approximately the same-size footprint as the site’s former 1940s-era, 1,200-square-foot home.

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