San Francisco, CA - 2006
This new house in San Francisco includes a small front building with a garage on grade and a painting studio above and a three-story 2500 sq ft. house in the back with a courtyard between the two.
The design for this house plays with two sectional moves, one horizontally by introducing a courtyard in between the house and the painting studio and one vertically by digging the ground floor of the house the same level as the front street and garage. These two moves result in a creating a powerful interplay between inside and outside and between the different levels of the house and studio. Now light and transparency are used to create dramatic spaces both inside and out.
The courtyard house is an unusual typology for San Francisco houses where many lots are too shallow to accommodate them. The extra 50’ of depth of this lot permits the introduction of the open courtyard and alleviates one of the major problems with San Francisco houses, which are invariably dark in the middle since they are deep and only get light from the front and the back.
The main floor of the house consists of an open plan for the living room, dining room, and kitchen, punctuated with a double height volume for the stairs. The kitchen counter, the cabinetry of the kitchen, and the living room form a singular zone of service. The floors are integral colored, acid-etched concrete with radiant heating. The exposed steel frame is infilled with transparent, translucent, and opaque glass.
The upper floor is a master suite consisting of the master bedroom, the master bath, and a study. The master bedroom has a glass bay window oriented toward the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay. It reintroduces the form of the all glass bay at the front of the studio, which is also capturing the bridge view. The glass on the north wall is pulled back from the property line to allow for an exterior deck that allows diffuse light to the rooms below.