Twin Peaks New Home

Typically, out projects are based strongly in actualizing the client’s objectives, both in design and construction. But this project was different in that the client wanted to sell an unbuilt lot. A vacant lot in San Francisco is a unicorn, and they usually get snapped up. On top of that, this lot was huge by SF standards, and had spectacular views. But the challenging topography and odd sliver shaped footprint made it hard to picture a home being there, which is where we came in.

First, the agent, owner and I sat down and built a profile for an imaginary buyer. Although we didn’t plan to obtain entitlements, we wanted to make the project as potentially buildable as possible. Normally, the process would be longer, and iterative, based on client feedback. But in this case, other than codes, site conditions & planning guidelines, we were given free rein, and asked to design the largest home that could reasonably be built there.

After developing massing that captured views and worked programmatically, we quickly generated 3 options for the main house, each based in a different design language.

There were lots of spaces, and almost every one accessed some sort of outdoor space. The house could easily look too fragmented. We chose SD opt 2 to move forward with because the large distinctive roof form best unified all these elements.

Left on our own to develop this house, the fun began. We added interest with asymmetrical windows, material landscape and detail.

There was also a second lot which was sized more similarly to the typical San Francisco. Also given the opportunity for free rein here, we did a quick modern design.