General Contractor: Lemma Construction
Text description provided by the architects. The 19th street residence, a major renovation to the building owner’s unit on the top floor of a San Francisco apartment building that included a penthouse addition, explores the insertion of two volumes into space and how these volumes set up a relationship between form, program, and urban context.
The renovation of an apartment in a banal San Francisco building plays a set of distinct volumetric insertions against the dominant horizontal planes of existing low ceiling heights. One volume controls vertical movement through the space, while a second defines the main living area and breaks through the ceiling to create a large interior room on the roof. The reading of the two volumes registers as a material difference between the insertions and the surrounding perimeter. A deep buit-in bookcase on one edge and a solid wood island on the other edge emphasizes the volumes’ figural, rather than planar, quality.
A direct visual relationship with the city is embraced in the project by orienting the volumes parallel to San Francisco’s skyline, increasing aperture sizes, and removing dated ornamentation from the roof. Views framed on the main level by the wood figure transform into an open view on the penthouse as a large aperture opens completely to dissolve the relationship between interior and exterior. The photographs of the project highlight how the different spatial and material thresholds are experienced in daily life.