Text description provided by the architects. A creative collaboration between Edmonds + Lee Architects and a designer client leads to a surprising, light renovation of an old San Francisco Victorian. An emphasis on the procession of rooms (rather than the more typical open floorplan) and a celebration of the pitched roof (rather than the flat ceiling implemented in most renovations) results in an airy space that serves as a backdrop for a well-designed life.
The Gable House, a 3,000 sqft renovation and expansion is a seamless homage to modern Scandinavian aesthetics. Sourcing not only aesthetically from the region but also literally, the Dinesen Douglas Fir that the flooring a stunning highlight of the home was shipped in from Denmark, special ordered as extra long planks to maintain an utterly seamless living room. The architects call the individual spaces “stages,” each room made to showcase the client’s favorite objects: works by Arne Jacobsen, Carl Hansen, and B&B Italia.
Sharing a design sensibility with the client gave the architects a platform from which to depart from the aesthetic and spatial norms for Victorian renovations in SF, where clients often want to disrupt any divisions between kitchen/ dining/ living room areas to make one big, grand, open space. Instead, ELA opted for a series of carefully choreographed rooms that simply draw visitors through the house, with each room offering a different experience. These rooms are anchored by only the lightest of moments— what the architects call a “hearth cube,” tethered on the ground floor by the fireplace in the living room and pulled through the house by the staircase, tying the floors together with a delicate glass wall that winds its way through the house alongside the staircase.
At the top of this procession is a celebration of the original architecture of the building: a moment of jubilance that sets the home apart from the flat ceiling typical of modern renovations. The attic of the Gable House instead reflects and honors its pitched roof, featuring skylights and a playful approach to cove lighting. The end result is a house airy with effortless, timeless, tactile minimalism.