When the owners initially purchased a modest turn-of-the-century house in Noe Valley, the plan was to clean up and restore the existing home to bring it up to modern standards for their family of four. It soon became clear that the home was in much worse shape than expected, and as the list of necessary repairs grew lengthy and expensive, it soon made far more sense to start over. The owners seized this rare opportunity to design a new ground-up house in San Francisco.
Studio VARA’s design takes advantage of the down-sloping lot and a vertical arrangement of spaces to achieve both intimacy and generosity. By maxing out the allowable envelope, three levels of living space with 11-foot ceilings achieve an airy, spacial luxuriousness at just over 3500 square feet. The main level is lifted above the street like a piano nobile, and is divided into large open spaces comprised of a living room, a family room, and a kitchen. Each of the rooms are separated by discrete masses: a fireplace, a powder room, a pantry – all of which work together to create a fluid interweaving of distinct experiences. Upstairs, an efficient layout fits a compact arrangement of bedroom suites, complete with built-in wardrobes and storage.
Floor-to-ceiling windows on the front and back of the home let in fresh air and expansive views of Twin Peaks from the upper levels, while carefully chosen materials and bright pops of color achieve a warm, livable modernism perfect for this young family.