Eichler Living — with building Lab


If you’ve been seeing a lot of building Lab work here this year, it’s because Stephen Shoup and his team have been on a tear – lots of amazing projects, and the recognition that comes with doing fantastic work.

This project is, in many ways, the epitome of what Stephen is all about. A Joseph Eichler home in California’s Marin County, this structure has seen extensive work but still feels 100% authentic. We shot this house over the course of two and a half days in November and created a set of photos I’m quite proud of.


The famous Eichler breezeway. This sort of covered “pre” entry is an Eichler trademark and makes it hard to say where the house itself really begins or ends.



Nestled in against the foothills of Mt. Tamalpais, the house seems completely appropriate to its environment.



Inside, the same clean lines prevail. Just as the wood-slat fence provides warmth and color outside, the walnut paneling warms and softens the interior.


The big Nelson lamp over the dining room table becomes a pivot point, visible from many perspectives around and outside the house.



The kitchen has a feature I’d never encountered before — impossibly thin paperboard countertops. These look and feel like soapstone or ground granite, but are about 5/16ths inch thick.




The house is built around this central “core” of kitchen space, with large panels of glass on two sides and Stephen’s trademark walnut paneling on the inside.


Eichler homes are, in many ways, rear-facing. It’s typical for them to have few if any windows in front, while the back features floor-to-ceiling glass and large doors. “Bringing the outside in” is the phrase you’ll hear every time.





This project was truly a pleasure to photograph, and we were sorry to see it end. Indeed, I kept shooting for almost an extra hour after we’d wrapped on the last “official” shot — I kept finding new compositions that I knew would keep me awake later if I didn’t shoot them.

I’ll leave you with a few behind-the-scenes photos.


Alan is rarely at a loss for words, but I don’t think he quite knew what to do in this situation….


How could we not shoot some 4×5 in an Eichler?


The gear depot, morning of Day 2.


The final shot of the weekend. This was not on the list, but it was so obvious as we stood there with our post-shoot beers that I just had to do it.


I exposed 9 sheets of Ektar 100 in two days…a record for me!


We did lots of subtractive lighting on this shoot.


5 responses to “Eichler Living — with building Lab

  1. Beautiful, beautiful work and the architect’s isn’t bad either. See you in Boston.

  2. Great work Scott, gotta say the entry shot with the crotch rocket in the foreground is perfect on so many levels.

    • Craig, that’s one of my faves for sure. I love the way the rear end of the bike sort of reflects the shape of the covered breezeway. it was not really a conscious, deliberate choice…I think this was a case where my subconscious was really steering the ship.

  3. Excellent work Scott.

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