Transformation to Three Modern Homes . . .
We endeavored to design a three-unit residential building from an ordinary single-family home that was suffering from years of neglect in San Francisco. The site in the Twin Peaks neighborhood enjoyed sweeping downtown views, was zoned for three units, and was located on a public transportation line. It set-up well to appeal to different needs and would result in one, two and three bedroom homes. While different in size, each unit would be unique and of the same quality, design and finish to enhance a sense of community among the residents.
The front elevation is a composition of steel frames with aluminum windows and integrally colored cement plaster infilling the steel framework. The amount of glazing increases at the upper levels as privacy from the street below becomes less of a concern. Sheer curtains, walnut wood veneer, and travertine floor tiles at the interior spaces add layers of warmth as a counterpoint to the taught overall design. Even though these interior materials are used consistently throughout the building, each of the three units has its own character.
The lower unit is defined by a double-height volume that opens onto a minimal rear yard. The middle unit contains a central walnut bench/bookcase that serves to mediate the floor level change between the kitchen and the living room. The upper unit has a master suite with an abundance of glazing that is perched above the living room and kitchen.
Photography courtesy of Michael Hennessey Architecture