Tucked into the side of a scenic San Francisco hill, one of the city’s more diminutive houses battles everything from dry rot to obstructionist neighbors in order to grow up.
“A strategy of extreme density was required,” says Michael Chen of Normal Projects,
who along with partner Kari Anderson handled the renovation of this Upper West Side apartment.
When an urban expat couple decided to build the suburban house they wanted rather than the one their neighbors expected, they ended up with a spare but airy jewel box and no wooden shingles.
Designed as a prefabricated monolithic steel grid, the boathouse’s orthogonal frame was delivered from Houston by truck and then transported by barge to the site.
It could have been a Sheetrock box, but as the house’s most frequently used point of entry, it deserved the same architectural respect.