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Alvarado House / Terry & Terry Architecture

  • Architects: Terry & Terry Architecture
  • Location: San Francisco, California, USA
  • Architect: Terry & Terry Architecture
  • Project Team: Alex Terry AIA, Ivan Terry
  • Engineer: Santos Urrutia Structural Engineers Inc.
  • Landscape Architect: Outer Space Landscape Architecture
  • General Contractor: Timberline Construction
  • Area: 2600.0 ft2
  • Photographs: Ethan Kaplan

© Ethan Kaplan © Ethan Kaplan © Ethan Kaplan © Ethan Kaplan

From the architect. For this project Terry & Terry Architecture maintained certain portions of this original Victorian layout, including the compartmentalized front rooms and the wide hallway that contains the stairs and bathrooms and leads to the kitchen. As one moves to the rear of the house, traces of the original Victorian house dissolve. Terry & Terry Architecture designed the new structure at the rear of the house to be a series of interconnected, multi-functional open space for dining, cooking and common living. On the third floor, Terry & Terry Architecture added bedrooms/bathrooms, a large stair shaft, with a roof opening to allow light to reach the core of the house.

© Ethan Kaplan
© Ethan Kaplan

To create transparency at the rear of the house, Terry & Terry Architecture used a three-story, steel moment frame. This allowed them to use glass as a membrane, blurring the distinction between the inner volumes of the house and the outdoor deck spaces. The moment frame also gave them greater freedom to manipulate the various volumes of the house. At each level, these volumes straddle the steel moment frame, and through their positioning, they provide shade and privacy to other indoor and outdoor spaces. Finally, Terry & Terry Architecture inserted a large patio on the ground level that connects with the garden area.

© Ethan Kaplan
© Ethan Kaplan
Cite:"Alvarado House / Terry & Terry Architecture" 25 Apr 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>