Diamond Project / Terry & Terry Architecture

© Ethan Kaplan

Terry & Terry Architecture designed this modern house with a shared language of simple materials and clean detailing throughout that unifies the space. This aesthetic creates the warmth and calmness essential for a family in an urban setting without distracting from the simple beauty of well juxtaposed spaces.

Architect: Terry & Terry Architecture
Location: San Francisco, California,
Project Team: Alex Terry AIA, Ivan Terry
Engineer: Santos Urrutia Structural Engineers Inc.
Landscape: Gentry Landscapes
General contractor: Timberline Construction
Project Area: 2,300 sqf
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: Ethan Kaplan, Joe Fletcher, Alex Terry

© Ethan Kaplan

The main floor sits at garden level. It contains the common spaces, beginning with a view balcony at the front of the house that extends from the living room, back to a large, kitchen/dining area that opens to rear, outdoor living spaces.

© Joe Fletcher

Sloping roof planes hover above, and are contained between the longitudinal concrete walls. Strategic gaps or fissures were formed between roof and walls to illuminate the walls with natural light. Large glazed openings in the front and rear of the house create transparency between indoor and outdoor spaces.

© Ethan Kaplan

The lower portion of the dwelling holds the less public spaces – guest room, children’s playroom, and utilities. An ample, yet thoughtful selection of glazed openings gently brings daylight into the home, and makes the best of views allowed by the site.

© Joe Fletcher

A roof deck is inserted at the top of the house and functions as a continuation of the garden living space. The roof deck also provides a unique connection to the surrounding hills speckled with the pastels of the San Francisco neighborhoods.

© Ethan Kaplan

A detached garden studio is located at the rear of the property. This small satellite structure serves as a home office, and as additional family space.

site section-Alex Terry

Concrete walls form the sides of the house, and continue to the rear to enclose the backyard. A third concrete wall extends vertically from the garage structure below to form the fireplace and chimney. This use of concrete provides thermal mass for energy efficiency. The concrete absorbs heat energy during the day, keeping the interior comfortable, and helping to maintain a moderate, baseline temperature for the cooler evenings. Since the house is located in a relatively dense urban area, the concrete walls also add protection against fire.

© Alex Terry

Between the perimeter concrete walls, we used a combination of transparent glass and wood-skinned walls. The Ipe wood skin is devised as a double wall system, in which horizontal Ipe strips are placed over vertical, furring strips. This allows ventilation between the skin and the underlying wall, thus avoiding heat build up in the wall and interior spaces.

© Ethan Kaplan
Cite: "Diamond Project / Terry & Terry Architecture" 14 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 18 Dec 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=126771>
  • the_Dude

    Nice detailing, nice diagramatic section, I like the intent.
    Great leaning wall in the bathroom, looks interesting!
    t_D