Potrero House / Cary Bernstein Architect

© César Rubio

This project involved the expansion, interior renovation, and furnishing of an old cottage on a triple-wide lot in . The project was completed in two phases marking the personal trajectory of the client’s life from bachelor to father of three. Early strategic and functional interior renovations were followed by a third-floor addition with comprehensive interior, exterior and landscape improvements.

Architect: Cary Bernstein Architect
Location: San Francisco, California,
Project Team: Kelly Franz and Tomas Rizo
Construction: Johnstone-McAuliffe Construction
Engineer: JEC Structural Consulting
Landscape: Jan Longwell Landscape Architecture
Project Area: 3,700 sqf
Project Year: 2010
Photography: César Rubio

© César Rubio

When the client purchased the property, the integrity of the original cottage had suffered a series of haphazard additions over a 100-year period. The mandate for all new work was threefold: expand the house while staying within the existing footprint to protect the mature gardens; integrate a modern architectural vocabulary with the older construction; and build sustainably. The new architecture reasserts the cottage’s unique identity by fluidly knitting together a modern vocabulary of open interiors, connection to the outdoors and contemporary materials with the older, quirky characteristics of the original building such as its mid-lot siting, irregular footprint and rough-sawn paneling.

© César Rubio

The third floor expansion provided an opportunity to reduce energy consumption and employ sustainable materials. The introduction of operable, high-performance wood windows and the open vertical core of the central stair increase natural daylight and ventilation, while reclaimed wood floors from a 19th century barn add a warm patina consistent with the original cottage. Interior glass panels at the stair rails and entry canopy provide a light and planar contrast with naturally figured finishes.

© César Rubio

Stone slabs used in the fireplace surround and counters are solidly vernacular while their square-edged profiles are decidedly modern. Rhythmic and refined metal railings, trellis details and chimney cladding are a crisp counterpoint to the natural wood and stone forms. The variegated pattern of the new, FSC-certified cedar siding recalls the existing, interior wood paneling, adding a subtle historic texture to the modern exterior profile of the expanded building.

© César Rubio
© César Rubio
© César Rubio
Cite: "Potrero House / Cary Bernstein Architect" 25 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 19 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=122345>

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