Cass Smith’s own residence in San Francisco is a 2400 square foot, three-unit building on an 18×60 foot lot near Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill. Originally Built in the nineteen twenties as a three-story, three unit building covering the front half of the lot over a six-car garage, the building now covers the entire lot. The expansion was made possible due to the acquisition of a permit variance to maximize the building’s depth and height towards the rear alley – as was the precedent for the block.
As an example of dense urban infill, the increased building envelope allowed for new floor plans resulting in a re-organization of the entire interior into an ‘urban home’ – where space was maximized for luxury, views capitalized for drama, and light utilized for warmth. Through a strategic layering of floor levels organized around the original central stair, the top portion of the building is a 1600 square-foot, multi-floored home, while the lower floors consist of two studio apartments – one front and one back. At the top of the stairs is a roof deck, which is the building’s only outdoor space, with panoramic views that expand to include Coit Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Marin Headlands.
Although this project is modest in means and materials, it is the intrigue of living up high and taking advantage of the city views that distinguishes it as a place exemplary of Telegraph Hill.
Photography: Cesar Rubio, Molly DeCoudreaux