Located on Russian Hill, this project is the complete renovation of a 1600 square-foot high-rise condominium, with dramatic views that sweep from downtown San Francisco to the Golden Gate Bridge.
As a corner space, the unimproved plan had floor-to-ceiling glass along two walls – south and west. Placing most of the rooms requiring enclosure adjacent to the other two sides maximized this open edge. The contrast between these two conditions, transparent vs. opaque, ethereal vs. dense, was emphasized through the interplay of two different plan geometries, two different material palettes, and two different ceiling heights. The success of this strategy is two-fold: the condominium looks and feels larger than it is, and the rich material articulation of the solid portions creates visual balance to the rich interest of the views. The solid walls are clad with horizontal strips of white oak that also form the background for the clients photography collection, while the view walls are glass with motorized shades to temper the light.
The client is an avid collector of photography, so an aspect of the design was to maximize the availability and usefulness of exhibit walls within a fairly compact overall space. The enclosure required for two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and closets became the walls for the art, while the circulation space that links back to the entry acts as a gallery for light-sensitive pieces.