Making Sense of the City

written by:
photos by:
July 20, 2009
Originally published in Urban Revival
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  Sebastian and Maricarmen Mariscal take in the sweeping western views from the balcony of their new downtown San Diego home, all the while keeping a watchful eye on Mateo and Olivia playing on the sidewalk below.
    Sebastian and Maricarmen Mariscal take in the sweeping western views from the balcony of their new downtown San Diego home, all the while keeping a watchful eye on Mateo and Olivia playing on the sidewalk below.
  • 
  The Mariscal family enjoys the first-floor patio, which Sebastian calls their “exterior room.”
    The Mariscal family enjoys the first-floor patio, which Sebastian calls their “exterior room.”
  • 
  MS-31 designed and built all the kitchen cabinetry, as well as the dining table, in collaboration with Archkinetics. The frosted-glass backsplash offers easy cleaning.
    MS-31 designed and built all the kitchen cabinetry, as well as the dining table, in collaboration with Archkinetics. The frosted-glass backsplash offers easy cleaning.
  • 
  Mateo and Olivia lounge in the living room that doubles as a screening room.
    Mateo and Olivia lounge in the living room that doubles as a screening room.
  • 
  The dining chairs are Yolanda side chairs by Ukao.
    The dining chairs are Yolanda side chairs by Ukao.
  • 
  The kitchen transitions into the living room, which transforms easily into a home theater when the heavy red drapes are pulled tightly shut. The home theater system features a projector by Sharp.
    The kitchen transitions into the living room, which transforms easily into a home theater when the heavy red drapes are pulled tightly shut. The home theater system features a projector by Sharp.
  • 
  All the west-facing windows frame the church across the street. Bookcases, also designed by MS-31, line the back wall. When the chairs and couch from Restoration Hardware face each other, it’s a cozy little living room. Turn the chairs around and it’s a full theater complete with an 11-by-17-foot image projected on the wall.
    All the west-facing windows frame the church across the street. Bookcases, also designed by MS-31, line the back wall. When the chairs and couch from Restoration Hardware face each other, it’s a cozy little living room. Turn the chairs around and it’s a full theater complete with an 11-by-17-foot image projected on the wall.
  • 
  The closet creates order in a space that has potential for disaster.
    The closet creates order in a space that has potential for disaster.
  • 
  Six-year-old Mateo’s bedroom, which he calls his “office,” provides an interesting contrast to his parents' orderly space. His talents are evident in his paintings, including “Dalmation” (a white sheet of paper with a single black dot in the center).
    Six-year-old Mateo’s bedroom, which he calls his “office,” provides an interesting contrast to his parents' orderly space. His talents are evident in his paintings, including “Dalmation” (a white sheet of paper with a single black dot in the center).
  • 
  Maricarmen takes in the view from her and Sebastian’s bedroom window, which frames the church’s cross. White curtains and a flokati rug add a welcome layer of calmness in a house that’s also home to their office and two young children.
    Maricarmen takes in the view from her and Sebastian’s bedroom window, which frames the church’s cross. White curtains and a flokati rug add a welcome layer of calmness in a house that’s also home to their office and two young children.
  • 
  Both houses, viewed from across State Street. All walls were built in the empty lot next door as the foundation was poured, cutting down on costly construction time. The hazy skies in this photograph can be attributed to the Southern California fires of 2003.
    Both houses, viewed from across State Street. All walls were built in the empty lot next door as the foundation was poured, cutting down on costly construction time. The hazy skies in this photograph can be attributed to the Southern California fires of 2003.
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