LocationSan Francisco, United States
Text description provided by the architects. This new house, infilled on an existing 25-foot wide lot in San Francisco, includes two distinct volumes separated by an interior courtyard. The front structure has a garage at street grade and a painting studio above; the back volume is the main house, with the bedrooms on the lower level, living spaces in the middle, and a master bedroom on the top floor. The design of this project uses two sectional moves: horizontal and vertical. The horizontal move creates two courtyards -- in the middle and at the back of the house -- while the vertical move digs the lower bedrooms down to the garage and street level. The combination of these two moves serves to interlock the house to the site and the surrounding urban fabric, thus interweaving the inside and outside spaces with a play of light and dark.
The main floor of the house - an open floor plan with kitchen, dining and living spaces -- is punctuated by a two-story space for the stair, and is on grade with the rear yard. A setback of the building on the third floor opens the house to spectacular views of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. The house has seven outdoor spaces, all with distinctive qualities and views: the front deck at the studio, the deck on top of the studio, the lower level courtyard, the entry level deck off the courtyard, the back courtyard, the glass and wood walkway, and the backyard. These decks and spaces unfurl around the living areas of the house, thereby unlocking the visual complexity of the structure and its site.
This house boldly introduces a new building typology to San Francisco a home of courtyards and light that brings new life to the world of the city’s residential architecture.