Peter’s House has been designed by Craig Steely Architecture, located on a steep site bordering a public garden above San Francisco, California’s Dolores Park. The decidedly small house, (only 1,800 square feet) builds on this steep lot as efficiently as possible. Rather than the typical construction practice of locating foundations staggered up the hillside, Peter’s house locates a 24 foot x 24 foot cast-in-place concrete garage at the lowest level and builds a 3-story glass tower above it, altering the land and native hillside drainage very little. The top living floor then spans from a flat plateau at top of the lot to the tower like a bridge, essentially reducing the amount of excavation typically involved in construction of this type by 2/3.
Beyond the structural challenges, the biggest issue in designing Peter’s house was opening the building to the expansive view while maintaining a level of privacy from the sidewalk and garden that pass alongside. Around the time the house was being designed, the new on-ramp to the Golden Gate Bridge was under construction which necessitated clearing a grove of Monterey Cypress trees in it’s path from the Presidio. We secured some of these trees and working with a local milling shop turned them into 90 solid wood louvers (fixed on the exterior/operable on the interior) that regulate openness and privacy.
At street level, the wooden garage door opens its toothed maw.
Outside looking in: a look at the door’s mechanism.
The kitchen is beautifully textured and veined thanks to white Carrara marble countertops installed by New Marble Company and reclaimed cypress cabinets built by Wayne Berger.
A 606 Universal Shelving System by Dieter Rams for Vitsoe hangs tough on the only opaque wall of the living room. The homeowner’s designed the coffee table, and Marcel Wanders gets credit for the Bottoni sofa for Moooi.
The trip from garage to first floor is through a wood-clad spiral staircase that resembles a giant slatted barrel.
The LC4 lounge is by Le Corbusier, Charlotte Perriand, and Pierre Jeanneret for Cassina. Operable porthole windows on the east facade offer ventilation.
The master bedroom is defined on the north side by a series of indoor louvers, which allow the couple to frame and manage their views.
The drawers and cupboards in the closet feature the same masterful joinery established in the kitchen.
The homeowner’s, a mechanical engineer and industrial designer, designed their bed. Credit for the custom joinery of the closet and cabinets goes to woodworker Wayne Berger.
At night, opening the entire top floor is a breeze. The homeowner’s are even planning of rigging some kind of sail over the back patio for shade. The hot tub is by Roberts Hot Tubs.
The public staircase is directly adjacent to the house, though the louvers mitigate the view of passersby in favor of views of San Francisco.
Menlo Park Residence is a modern single family home that has been designed by Dumican Mosey Architects and built by Matarozzi Pelsinger Builders in San Francisco, California. The cool modern 5,500 square foot home gets its warmth from the architect’s intentions, the homeowners’ style and two kids just being two kids. While the design exhibits many trademarks of minimalism (clean lines, hard surfaces, high ceilings, and lots of glass), the architect also integrated antidotes to the inherently cool style: a U-shaped courtyard, raised sun decks and a sophisticated playground complete with pool, and raised sun decks. The result was a modern home that still embraces texture, warmth, lightness and a connection to the outdoors.
The ground up project features an aluminum storefront style window system that connects the interior and exterior spaces. Modern design incorporates integral color concrete floors, Boffi cabinets, two fireplaces with custom stainless steel flue covers. Other notable features include an outdoor pool, solar domestic hot water system and custom Honduran mahogany siding and front door.
The entryway, itself, features a living wall by Kevin Smith (no relation to the homeowner). The home has a high-tech system that unlatches as the homeowners approach.
The streamlined Boffi kitchen was customized to hide all the unsightly necessities of a family of four.
The home’s seamless connection to the outdoors is best represented by the great room’s clerestory windows, skylights and a 40-foot-wide series of sliding-glass pocket doors. During the day, this allows for an abundance of warm sunlight and fresh air, bringing life to the stark architecture. By night, the McIver-Smith household takes on a new vibe, when two fireplaces and an ensemble case of static light fixtures are turned on.
The dining room, located to the right of the entry, is like a glass vitrine at night with 36 Bocci pendants and a glossy white table. Is in the living room, the fireplace surround was custom-designed and fabricated by Concreteworks’ Mark Rogero.
Fatboy beanbags and playful “Scrabble” tiles by Justine King make the kids’ playroom the perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon with movies or video games.
The master bedroom’s entire corner opens to the pool area by way of a sundeck featuring an automated shade canopy. Owner Bridget McIver furnished the house with Italian pieces from Dzine, such as Paola Lenti’s outdoor seating.
The integration of the pool area and patio with the living room allows for easygoing entertaining—as does a separate guest suite. The homeowners have hosted everything from a 40th birthday bash to a make-your-own-pizza social to a karaoke blowout.
Both of the kids’ rooms are decorated with Blik wall decals. This room has an added touch, a wall-mounted fishbowl.
The master bedroom uses a serene, relaxing color palette of soft greens.
The master bed and bath are tucked into the lot’s far corner, allowing for plenty of glass but ensuring privacy.
Zero Energy House, designed by Levy Art & Architecture, is the first home in San Francisco, California that is completely self-powering and carbon neutral. The architecture has been developed in conjunction with the mechanical systems and landscape design, each influencing the other to arrive at an integrated solution. Working from the historic facade, the design preserves the traditional formal parlors transitioning to an open plan at the central stairwell, helping to define the distinction between eras. The new floor plates act as passive solar collectors and radiant tubing redistributes collected warmth to the original, North facing portions of the house. Careful consideration has been given to the envelope design of Zero Energy House in order to reduce the overall space conditioning needs, retrofitting the old and maximizing insulation in the new.
The Bar piece is produced by SieMatic cabinets, it is walnut. The cabinets are a wood textured laminate, also by SieMatic. The stair is open to above and takes up an area about 6′-6″ x 10′-0″. the floor to floor height is 10′-6″.
Central skylights above staircase.
View from master bedroom.
Exterior stair back yard to first level.
Solar powered hybrid electric heat pump.
Marin County Residence is a very beautiful contemporary property that has been designed by Chicago-based firm Dirk Denison Architects in San Francisco, California. This accessible house is designed on one level to provide a barrier-free environment and to capitalize on the potential for an internalized landscape. The plan is based upon an irregular grid, which informs all elements of its composition. Each programmatic function is contained within an individual building to respond to its specific needs. This enables each space to form a distinct relationship with its own courtyard or garden.
The ceiling plane is fractured and folded along a diagonal pattern, exploring the interplay of light in unique ways.
These spatial volumes are bound together by an enclosing perimeter wall, which creates a single form out of a village of buildings and landscapes. The irregular pattern of openings in this simple wall hints at the home’s underlying geometry and expresses the various functions contained within.
Photos: Joshua McHugh
Hilltop Retreat is a stunning Mediterranean style home designed by high-end interior design firm Tucker & Marks, situated high on a ridge above the central coast in Tehama County, California. The home features a flowing series of vaulted interior spaces and broad exterior terraces that capture both the morning and evening sun. The design firm took a playful approach t0 finishes and textiles by mixing textured indigenous stone, hand-hewn and sandblasted woods, antiques, new pieces, and fabrics – linen prints, cushy chenilles, and soft cottons – that had both a modern and casual feel.
On the floor is a custom wool and mohair area rug was manufactured by Sloan Miyasato. The coffee table base was purchased from Formations, and the limestone inset top is from Fox Marble. The painting is by Paul Balmer, the title is “Summer Abstracted”.
The side table next to the club chair is made from a section of an old, reclaimed ironwood tree, purchased from JRM International. The console table below the painting is a French 19th century elm desk, purchased from Ralf’s Antiques. The beautiful painting is called “Red Smoke” by Jennifer Brook-Kothlow. If the wall color appeals to you, try Benjamin Moore #957 Papaya.
The lantern above is a Large Cubic Lantern with three lights in an aged bronze finish, from Formations.
The kitchen island bar stools are three “Laced Rawhide Back Bar Stool” in a tobacco finish, purchased from The McGuire Company. The kitchen countertops are a “Tiberius Gold” stone countertop, while the cabinets were custom-built and painted in Benjamin Moore OC-103 Antique Yellow. On the ceiling you will notice a skylight with 2 pendant lights (mounted to skylight frame) in a steel-dark patina finish with a rectangular linen shade in a cream color (from Holly Hunt). The paint finish is hand-troweled plaster walls with a custom-mixed warm straw color. This floor is made from oak wooden planks with a clear stain.
These rattan dining chairs are from McGuire. The hand-troweled plaster walls have a custom-mixed warm straw color, inspired by the colors of the indigenous stone and earth of the central california coast area. The floor is made of wooden oak planks.
The ten side chairs with scrolled legs and antique brass nailhead along the base of the seat, are upholstered in a saddle colored leather, purchased from A. Rudin Furniture (the item # is SC 560, the finish is Chestnut #35, with antique brass nailheads). The cast stone bases of this dining table are from Michael Taylor Designs. The lantern is an iron Giacometti style four-light lantern with leaves, an owl, and a bird in a bronze finish was purchased from Carole Gratale. The wall finish is comprised of stone indigenous to the California location of this house.
The light fixture above the dining table is a Giacometti-style lantern, purchased from Carol Gratale. The metal-framed windows and doors were custom-designed and custom-manufactured for this project.
The window treatments are made with a leopard print linen from Raoul Textiles at De Sousa Hughes, called “Leopard” in the Olivine colorway. The Roman Shades, in a pale raffia-like material, are from Conrad.
The plantation shutter doors were custom-manufactured for this project.
The flooring material is Sweetwater Cherokee stone. The ceiling light fixture is a Large Cubic Lantern with three lights in an aged bronze finish, from Formations. The ceiling wood is oak with just a clear finish.
Photos: Matthew Millman
This William Wurster renovation project was carried out by Butler Armsden Architects, and is situated on a wide, high street in Pacific Heights, San Francisco, California. This revival home was originally designed by William Wurster and built in 1939, the interior is now a wonderment of contemporary design infused with unique artwork that adds character to this revival. The client purchased this home to serve as a west coast outpost for his family who live primarily in New York but maintain homes around the world. The design was informed in part by a reading of “In Praise of Shadows” by Junichiro Tanizaki and became a synthesis of the early Wurster aesthetic, with a new palate of natural, pure and casually beautiful materials, punctuated by a global collection of art and objects.
This island counter top is basalt with a chipped edge.
The sectional in this family room is the “Voyage Immobile Modular Sofa” from Roche Bobois. The artwork featured on the wall is by Alexander Calder from the client’s own personal collection.
The flooring features large oak planks with a coarse finish in an oyster color throughout the house. The orange club chairs were designed by Tobia Scarpa.
The wooden fingers are a custom piece by Thierry Martenon.
This stunning powder room features a shallow and rectangular sink by Alape.
The chairs seen in this sunroom are the Happy Chaises by Antonio Citterio for Flexform.
Photos: Courtesy of Butler Armsden Architects
This spectacular St. Regis penthouse sits atop the St Regis Hotel Tower in San Francisco, California. The interiors were created by international award-winning interior design firm Orlando Diaz-Azcuy Design Associates, with staging by Arthur McLaughlin & Associates. The penthouse is built from three separate penthouses over two floors, by Victor MacFarlane, real-estate investment manager and developer who bought three apartment shells and combined them into a single, 20,000 square foot pad. The home features an entrance foyer with a two-story waterfall feature which greets visitors to the six-bedroom, 12-bath apartment. The living room has 22-foot ceilings and the 2,500-square-foot master suite has a gym, sauna and steam room and 3,000 square feet of terraces. Additional features of the home includes four fireplaces, a home screening room, library, two laundry rooms, and six-car valet parking.
Photos: Courtesy of Arthur McLaughlin & Associates
This classically modern 1950′s pied-a-terre is located on San Francisco’s Nob Hill, designed by Leverone Design. Perched above Huntington Park and a stones throw from Grace Cathedral, the building’s multiple steel framed windows give access to extraordinary views. Never wanting to compete with the exceptional urban setting, a neutral gray palette was chosen for the interior’s backdrop. The introduction of oak paneling and the layering of rich deep blue’s add warmth and calm. Soft wools and crisp linens wrap tailored, sophisticated furniture – transforming the previously cold and sterile space into an inviting interior that stands up to its world class location.
Photos: Lisa Romerein
3 Bar Residence has been designed by Aleck Wilson Architects as a modest new residence nestled on a wooded site in Larkspur, Marin County, California. The desire was to create a simple contemporary home that emphasized efficiency of materials and space, while capturing the essential elements of the site. This efficiency manifests itself in the compact 2,000 square foot size, as well as the simple use of materials such as the exposed framing and efficient systems such as the hydronic heat. The parti was simple, to use two rectangular stucco volumes to frame an implied space between them which is the core of the house. This space is partially occupied by the dining room which is flanked on either side by one sunny and one sheltered patio. The room is unique, with glass roll up garage doors to the two patios, making the dining area a true indoor/outdoor space when both are open. The dining table is on wheels, allowing it to be rolled onto an adjacent concrete patio as the family alternatively searches for sun or shelter. Large and strategically placed windows further the connection to the landscape and visually extend key views beyond the small size of the home.
Photos: Matthew Millman Photography
This renovation of a 1973 post-and-beam Eichler house in Palo Alto, California was carried out by YamaMar Design. The transformation included an expanded master bath, a kitchen makeover, new laundry room, installation of oak floorboards with radiant heating and new finishes and lighting throughout. The architects also replaced the mahogany paneling with regular gypsum-board painted white and applied several coats of white paint to the iconic Eichler tongue-and-groove Douglas fir ceiling. The cathedral ceiling and skylights make the home feel light and airy. The owners had recently moved to the bay area form Toronto along with their four small children. They fell in love with the original 3,000 square foot house, but were looking to put their own minimal stamp on the architecture, and create a light filled setting for their colorful artwork and furnishings. Interior design was carried out by Alison Damonte, who gave the home a burst of color with adventurous patterns and textures throughout.
A porch paved in concrete aggre-gate precedes the entry.
The living area’s cocktail tables in brass, glass, and acrylic are 1970’s.
Floorboards in the kitchen, other public spaces, and the bedrooms are oiled white oak.
In the dining area, Fredrik Mattson Verkstad’s pendant fixture hangs over Giusseppi Raimondi’s table and chairs near an Enzo Mari silk screen.
Wallpaper in a child’s room is by Given Campbell.
Rap lyrics feature in Arianna Orland’s prints in the master bedroom.
Wall covering in the powder room is printed Mylar. Thomas Sandell designed the powder room’s sconce.
In the children’s bathroom, ceramic tile backs a custom vanity in painted MDF.
The children’s bathroom is shared by three bedrooms off a single hallway.
The master bathroom was expanded.
Photos: Bruce Damonte Photography