Single Family Residence,
San Francisco, CA
After evaluation, demolition of the building and design of a new one was considered the best course. The owners are conservative and desired a traditional façade to fit into the urban streetscape and a simple contemporary interior.
The site is down sloping with the garage accessed directly from the street. Behind and below it by a few feet is a family room with access to the garden. That room has a full bathroom, and detached as it is from the rest of the house, will double as guest quarters. Above the garage is the entry hall and bedrooms. Orientation and detailing of the stair was carefully considered, as it constitutes the first impression.
The sky lit stair hall draws the eye up to the main living level above which is open to maximize access to the views. A built-in banquette fits into the façade's bay window. A small balcony overhangs and emphasizes the entrance below. Kitchen materials are steamed beech and honed black granite. Paneling and a fireplace create a focus on the one wall that is not dominated by the views. A blind door, paneled to match adjacent surfaces, leads to a tiny yet dramatic powder room. A deck with glass guardrails is conveniently located off the living level. The master suite sits atop the building like an urban penthouse.
Due to its location the side elevation that reveals the contemporary upper floor sitting on top of the traditional façade will always be visible. The rear façade is a simple expression of the building mass, the materials used and response to the views.