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This new single family house was designed to replace an existing structure that had had years of odd modifications, additions and neglect. The additions were stylistically scattered and seismically out of date and the neglect had produced mold growth levels unhealthy for any occupant. The existing house did not take advantage of the site’s magnificent views nor did it have much connection to its lush backyard.

The new design attempts to right many of the failings of the existing. It takes advantage of the most basic smart architectural moves for maximizing light and air and efficiency as well as the most innovative building systems to create a zero net energy house.

Designed as a house for a young growing family the new house is bigger than the existing. By excavating the site however, this larger square footage is imperceptible from the public street as the street-front building height is actually lower than its predecessor. Inside and outside are integrated visually and physically. The program includes an intimate private garden with outdoor cooking off the kitchen on the street side and a more open expansive experience on the larger yard side of the property with a substantial flat area for play.

Spaces were carefully tailored to the owner’s individual lifestyle. Window placement was studied to maximize natural light and views without compromising privacy or creating excessive heat gain. Attention was given to studying materials for their ability to blend into the environment, limit reflections and age gracefully.

San Francisco, CA

LD Team

Michelle Kriebel
Ryan Austin
David Battenfield
Jeff Loehmann