ON A CLIFF ABOVE THE MISSION
When a project involves a client who asks me to work on their house again or a new client who has purchased a house I worked on, the results can be special. Successive remodeling is like vernacular architecture. It is nuanced design as successive clients appreciate yet improve on what has gone before. I worked on this home for over two decades for three successive clients.
This Bernal Heights home began as a small 1906 earthquake cottage that had been moved up the hill from a refuge encampment and set on the ground with no foundations. By the time I knew this house, the cottage had been remodeled into a bedroom and a tall ceilinged, kitchen. A living room had been added in the 1950’s at the rear. The task was to replace the termite ridden cottage with a small, two story addition containing a garage and small bedroom at ground level and a larger bedroom above. As this client envisioned adding to the house in the future, an interior, winding central stairway, with a tall skylight was introduced between this new addition and the old living room/kitchen. This brought sunlight into the middle of the home, into an area that would otherwise be dark.
Several years later, a second client purchased this house and wanted to proceed with the addition to the old living room/kitchen. They wanted the kitchen remodeled and opened up with a view for morning espresso looking out to the San Francisco skyline outside. A master bedroom and bathroom suite was added above, accessed by completing the diagonal central stairway letting in sunlight on all sides.
About a decade later, a third client bought this house and decided that the deck out from the living room needed to be enlarged and rebuilt. We created a stone tile terrace that flowed out the living space stopping at the steep rock cliff at the rear of the property.