The renovation of this building transforms a two-unit 1940’s ranch-style building perched on a steeply sloping hillside into a serene, single-family retreat. The existing house had been compromised by several modifications, including a second unit with an entrance in a bathroom, as well as landscaping designed to mitigate further damage from a landslide in the 1980’s.
Our clients asked us to combine the two units and to make the most of a panoramic view that stretches from San Francisco to Richardson Bay. The overly-complicated geometry of the existing house interrupted the view, and the existing house fully occupied all of the available building envelope allowed by local planning regulations.
By replacing the jumble of roof forms that had aggregated over time with a simple, flat roof floating over the entire volume, the house becomes a light-filled aerie. New cascading garden terraces create an inviting entry sequence. Inside, floor-to-ceiling windows and generous ceiling heights allow the living spaces to flow uninterrupted from the lush hillside garden to a broad, ever-changing panorama of San Francisco bay. The main living space that includes living, dining, and kitchen hovers between land and water. As a result, the striking sense of flight induced by the soaring view is anchored by a strong connection to the site.
The upper level also includes an intimate library, as well as a master bedroom suite with a sky-lit bath and a glass-railed balcony. The master bedroom and living area are connected by a sliding door that, when open, allows the full sweep of the view to be experienced. A new central stair links the primary living spaces to a floor below, which features a multi-purpose studio, media room and bedroom suite. Quiet detailing and a simple palette of materials focus attention on the space and light.