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This design takes advantage of an awkwardly proportioned lot in San Francisco's South of Market district. Though narrow, deep and flanked by two-story properties, the site boasts a generous height allowance. Our design maximizes access to natural light and great views by taking the opportunity to build upwards, while creatively adhering to the site's spatial constraints and building restrictions.

The loft's interior staircase spans four stories, and is the physical and conceptual backbone of the design. Enveloped by a rectilinear steel box beam, the stairs' wood treads cantilever off the center structure, reaching toward but never touching the outside wall of the stair shaft. Each level is programmatically different, allowing an artist studio and a residence to coexist while functioning separately within the space. The garage and studio occupy the first floor. A guest bedroom is located on the second floor, and a mezzanine office overlooks the double-height studio space. The third floor is reserved for the kitchen, dining and living room, while the fourth floor houses the master bedroom. A deck on the roof provides additional common space.

The loft's construction relied on a unique building system usually reserved for the production of refrigerated warehouses. The steel structural framework and highly insulated foam panels deliver a highly energy efficient building shell in a short timeframe. These steel-clad panels were utilized on three of the building's facades, while the rear face was almost entirely glazed using a commercial aluminum window system rated for minimum solar gain and sound.

San Francisco, CA | 2007


John Dunham + Dana Kawano

LD Team

Michelle Kriebel
Wylie Price

Project Team

Malpas + Birmingham Construction

Made by our shop

  • Steel entry door

Press and awards


Ryan Hughes, Michelle Kriebel