zack | de vito architecture, san francisco

it's no accident that 110 Chattanooga Duplex strikes a confident yet respectful pose among the Victorian-era row houses in eclectic San Francisco. Architect and builder Jim Zack says that was the goal: to design an obviously modern building that was also sensitive to its traditional neighbors. To pull this off, Zack and his partner, Lise de Vito, gave the units the same scale, massing, and materials as the other buildings but employed those materials in a more expressive, contemporary way.

The duo avoided the stacked-flats and piggyback approach to the units—“They have inherent inequalities,” says Zack—in favor of a side-by-side row-house configuration that maintains a democracy of views. They angled the party wall to form trapezoidal shapes and adapted the motion to create lively and clearly defined spaces in the units. In the end, says Zack, the units have equal access to daylight. The judges commended the result, calling it a “very ingenious interweaving of the two units for maximum views.”

principals in charge / project architects / developers: Jim Zack and Lise de Vito, Zack | de Vito Architecture
general contractors: Jim Zack and Lise de Vito, Built Form Construction, San Francisco
landscape architect: Randy Thueme, Randy Thueme Design, San Francisco
project size: 5,550 square feet
site size: 0.13 acre
construction cost: $275 per square foot
sales price: $1,325,000 (Unit B)
units in project: 2
photographer: Massimiliano Bozonella