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This residence is a remodel of a 10,000 square foot house in Pacific Heights originally designed by William Wurster in 1961. To make the spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay even more panoramic the house's factory-like grid of opaque glass facing the courtyard was turned into a sweeping wall of glass and stainless steel that juts out, as if it were craning to capture a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge. The monotony of plate-glass windows has been relieved in the living room with a distinctly syncopated rhythm, thanks to the addition of stainless steel frames, french doors and, most particularly, a large trapezoidal panel.

The inspiration for the floor plan was the idea of progression through three exterior experiences - the entry courtyard, the interior garden, and finally the view of San Francisco Bay. As you enter the house both the plan and section open up and out toward the view beyond, and the gardens shift from the intimate to expansive.

A checkerboard of altering black-river rock and baby's tears ground cover adds a dynamic graphic to the contemplative outdoor space; a modern interpretation of a classic Japanese Buddhist garden. A row of bamboo casts shadows on the neighbor's blank wall. The overall impression is one of calm luxuriousness and a past gently prodded toward a more resonant future. The 10,000 pound granite boulder fountain was fabricated by the Lundberg Design Shop.

San Francisco, CA | 1998


Lawrence Ellison

LD Team

Marla Ushijima

Project Team

Ryan Associates

Made by our shop

  • Boulder fountain

Press and awards


Richard Barnes