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December 5, 2011

San Francisco architect Cary Bernstein recently completed this renovation and expansion of an old cottage in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood. The cottage had suffered a series of haphazard additions over a 100-year period, and the client wanted more space and an updated modern interior. Bernstein describes her goals thusly: "To expand the house while staying within the existing footprint to protect the mature gardens, to preserve the charm of the existing building’s ad-hoc character, to integrate a modern architectural vocabulary with the older construction, and to build sustainably." The resulting home fluidly knits together a modern vocabulary of open interiors, connection to the outdoors, innovative structural details, and a mix of contemporary and reclaimed materials. For a peek inside, click though the slideshow.

A third floor addition and whole-house renovation modernized a funky cottage on an unusual, triple-wide lot in San Francisco.
A third floor addition and whole-house renovation modernized a funky cottage on an unusual, triple-wide lot in San Francisco.
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Here's what the site looked like before Bernstein arrived on the scene.
Here's what the site looked like before Bernstein arrived on the scene.
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In an effort to preserve the surrounding mature gardens, the addition did not alter the footprint of the house.
In an effort to preserve the surrounding mature gardens, the addition did not alter the footprint of the house.
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The renovated cottage is light and airy. The flooring is re-milled oak barn siding. The house is heated with a hydronic radiant system.
The renovated cottage is light and airy. The flooring is re-milled oak barn siding. The house is heated with a hydronic radiant system.
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New details create modern geometries with vernacular materials. The stair brings light into the center of the house and the basement.
New details create modern geometries with vernacular materials. The stair brings light into the center of the house and the basement.
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Family furnishings are mixed with modern accessories for a sustainable interior design strategy.
Family furnishings are mixed with modern accessories for a sustainable interior design strategy.
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The new kitchen has stone counters; a walnut butcher-block island; corkboard for family projects and light on 4 sides.
The new kitchen has stone counters; a walnut butcher-block island; corkboard for family projects and light on 4 sides.
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The modern breakfast area also serves as a mudroom with plenty of shoe storage under the window seat.
The modern breakfast area also serves as a mudroom with plenty of shoe storage under the window seat.
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The Eames “Crosspatch” and Mokum “Basalt” fabrics connect with the colors of the plum tree outside. The table is by Naoto Fukasawa and the chairs are by Arne Jacobsen.
The Eames “Crosspatch” and Mokum “Basalt” fabrics connect with the colors of the plum tree outside. The table is by Naoto Fukasawa and the chairs are by Arne Jacobsen.
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Galvanized sheetmetal chimney cladding, a steel trellis and steel railings bring modern details and materials to the exterior. The steel trellis acts as a "drag strut and anchor" for the whole house, providing necessary seismic reinforcement while minimiz
Galvanized sheetmetal chimney cladding, a steel trellis and steel railings bring modern details and materials to the exterior. The steel trellis acts as a "drag strut and anchor" for the whole house, providing necessary seismic reinforcement while minimizing invasive changes to the older shell.
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FSC-certified cedar siding and high-performance wood windows by Loewen add to the sustainable construction of the house.<br /><br /><p><em><strong>Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our </strong></em><a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dwell/id41179
FSC-certified cedar siding and high-performance wood windows by Loewen add to the sustainable construction of the house.

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A third floor addition and whole-house renovation modernized a funky cottage on an unusual, triple-wide lot in San Francisco.
A third floor addition and whole-house renovation modernized a funky cottage on an unusual, triple-wide lot in San Francisco.

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