This project involved adding a third story to a small 1908 house in San Francisco. Architect-ed by Cary Bernstein, this is the new, 500sf third floor contains a Master Bedroom, Bathroom and Dressing Area with sweeping views of downtown San Francisco. By adding a glazed double-height extension to the front of the house, the former dark, recessed walkway was turned into a light and welcoming Stair Hall. The new facade presents a seamless reconciliation between the older, shingled cottage and the interests of an open and modern aesthetic.
At the main of the interior is the new stair to the third floor. The relationship of the stair and new double-height entry turns a traditionally stacked floor plan into an interconnected and playful circulation space.
Details such as open risers and a back-lit cabinet wall reinforce ideas of light and transparency developed in the new addition. In the Living Room, a new, Platonic and solid steel-clad fireplace balances the open and sculptural stair. The minimal palette of the interior helps emphasize the play of light throughout the house and draws attention to the dramatic views outside. The scale and variation of this new space transformed a petite cottage into a more varied and complex architecture
the new spaces and architectural vocabulary are clearly read as layers of time. The new, metal window-walls are clearly distinct from the punched wood openings of the older shell. The lighter appearance of the upper-story contrasts with the denser shingles below to create a bi-partite composition on the façade: the remaining solid walls of the cottage function as a base for the light container above.