the world's most visited architecture website

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

Sign up now to save and organize your favorite architecture projects


Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

Find the most inspiring products in our Product Catalog.


Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »


All over the world, architects are finding cool ways to re-use run-down old buildings. Click here to see the best in Refurbishment Architecture.

Want to see the coolest refurbishment projects? Click here.


Immerse yourself in inspiring buildings with our selection of 360 videos. Click here.

See our immersive, inspiring 360 videos. Click here.

Navigate articles using your keyboard
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Houses
  4. United States
  5. Cary Bernstein Architect
  6. 2010
  7. Potrero House / Cary Bernstein Architect

Potrero House / Cary Bernstein Architect

  • 00:00 - 25 March, 2011
Potrero House / Cary Bernstein Architect
Potrero House / Cary Bernstein Architect, © César Rubio
© César Rubio

© César Rubio © César Rubio © César Rubio © César Rubio + 17

  • Architects

  • Location

    San Francisco, United States
  • Architect

    Cary Bernstein Architect
  • Project Team

    Kelly Franz and Tomas Rizo
  • Engineer

    JEC Structural Consulting
  • Construction

    Johnstone-McAuliffe Construction
  • Area

    3700.0 ft2
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

Text description provided by the architects. This project involved the expansion, interior renovation, and furnishing of an old cottage on a triple-wide lot in San Francisco. 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.

© 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
© 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
© 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

View the complete gallery

About this office
Cary Bernstein Architect
Cite: "Potrero House / Cary Bernstein Architect" 25 Mar 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
Read comments
Read comments
© César Rubio

Potrero 住宅 / Cary Bernstein Architect

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.