The original structure was built at the rear of a steeply sloped 2750-square-foot (255-square-metre) lot, “giving the home a unique sense of privacy and a feeling of being a true retreat,” the studio said.
However, the setback challenged the home’s circulation, causing people to cross the yard, descend a long staircase, and climb back up three flights to access the primary living space.
During an initial walkthrough with the clients, founding principal Ryan Leidner threw out a “crazy idea” – to redirect access from the street to a new front door with a bridge.
The bridge would span the lush front garden and connect to the house between the top and middle stories.
“The front entrance sequence was totally reimagined,” Leidner told Dezeen.
The studio rebuilt the front facade – now marked by a circular pivot window that replaced a leaking solarium – gutted the interior and rearranged spaces.
“Wanting to preserve the historic character of the house, the existing wood beams and ceiling were refinished and left exposed while all of the original windows, floors and finishes were replaced, creating a greater sense of material continuity throughout the house,” Leidner said.
The subtle palette of natural wood tones and white surfaces allows the interior spaces to serve as a canvas for the owners’ affinity for design.
“The interior spaces are filled with a mix of vintage Italian furnishings and custom pieces, while the overall sensibility of the space was inspired by trips to Norway and Japan, and the ethos of Californian hippie modernism,” Leidner noted.
The top-floor kitchen, living and dining areas enjoy sweeping views of the San Francisco skyline through a variety of window shapes.
Plant-filled niches that reference 1960s and 70s Italian projects surround a space that holds accent furniture including a custom Nobuto Suga dining table, vintage Guido Faleschini chairs and a Gae Aulenti armchair.
The second floor contains two bedrooms, a Venetian-plastered primary bathroom and a lounge space inspired by a Tokyo whiskey bar with warm wide-plank white oak and a custom velvet daybed.
A large opening in the lounge leads to the lower courtyard, which was reimagined by landscape architect Stephen Design Studio.
The lowest level boasts one of the home’s most unique spaces: the guest bedroom.
“A textured hemp-plaster was used on the walls and ceiling, and a custom tiled bed frame and furnishings give a nod to the history of Italian modernism,” the studio said.
Throughout the home, custom fabricated brass details – like countertops, sinks and CNC Dieter Rams-inspired exhaust covers – add a luxurious touch that will patina over time.
Ryan Leidner Architecture had previously collaborated with Stephen Design Studio to remodel a midcentury Eichler home, complete with twin gables and a lush central courtyard.
The photography is by Joe Fletcher.
Architects: Ryan Leidner Architecture
Landscape Design: Stephens Design Studio
General Contractor: DKG Construction
Landscape Contractor: Ground Cover Landscaping
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