Residence in Pacific Heights
San Francisco, California
The fact that strict zoning and zealously protected view corridors played a dramatic role in shaping our design should not be seen as a negative. Quite the contrary, we believe that these very constraints have a positive side, fostering an architecture that might elsewhere seem idiosyncratic but here can be justified as site-specific. Looking back to the work of Ernest Coxhead, Bernard Maybeck, and Willis Polk, among other early twentieth century architects who helped establish San Francisco's unique tradition of residential architecture, our shingle-clad house confronts the street with a two-and-a-half storey asymmetrical mass culminating in a lantern that bathes a central hall in soft light. At the rear, where the steeply sloping site allows the house to enjoy an additional floor, a symmetrical flat facade is relieved by an overscaled bay window permitting sweeping views across the Marina district to San Francisco Bay.