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Standout in a Crowd

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In architecturally conservative San Francisco, this house built on a 20-foot-wide lot proves that modern design can fit—literally and figuratively—in any neighborhood.

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  The houses that circle San Francisco's Buena Vista Park run the gamut from wedding-cake Victorian to Scandinavian modern. Architect Cass Calder Smith aimed to create a façade that contextually relates to the adjacent ornate ones yet is purely modern.  Photo by Todd Hido.
    The houses that circle San Francisco's Buena Vista Park run the gamut from wedding-cake Victorian to Scandinavian modern. Architect Cass Calder Smith aimed to create a façade that contextually relates to the adjacent ornate ones yet is purely modern. Photo by Todd Hido.
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  A private raised patio in the small backyard further extends and expands the space into the outdoors.  Photo by Todd Hido.
    A private raised patio in the small backyard further extends and expands the space into the outdoors. Photo by Todd Hido.
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  A long, narrow rectangle functions as a kitchen, dining, working, and general gathering area. Skylights set at a 90-degree angle to the workstation boost the dynamism in the room and cast a bright glow over the unit's walnut-and-steel seam.  Photo by Todd Hido.
    A long, narrow rectangle functions as a kitchen, dining, working, and general gathering area. Skylights set at a 90-degree angle to the workstation boost the dynamism in the room and cast a bright glow over the unit's walnut-and-steel seam. Photo by Todd Hido.
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  Neither the owner, a self-declared "card-carrying-modernist," or his girlfriend, Stephanie Kiriakopolos, miss having a big bulky refrigerator.  Photo by Todd Hido.
    Neither the owner, a self-declared "card-carrying-modernist," or his girlfriend, Stephanie Kiriakopolos, miss having a big bulky refrigerator. Photo by Todd Hido.
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  The theme of casual living is reinforced with plush, oversize couches designed by the architect. Like the versatile workstation, they play multiple roles by incorporating beautiful walnut shelving into their construction.  Photo by Todd Hido.
    The theme of casual living is reinforced with plush, oversize couches designed by the architect. Like the versatile workstation, they play multiple roles by incorporating beautiful walnut shelving into their construction. Photo by Todd Hido.
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  Messiness is not allowed, but creative storage, like drawers that slide into the platform beneath the stair, makes organization easier.  Photo by Todd Hido.
    Messiness is not allowed, but creative storage, like drawers that slide into the platform beneath the stair, makes organization easier. Photo by Todd Hido.
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  The unifying elements of walnut and steel—with a little marble and concrete thrown in—continue downstairs in the bathroom and bedroom.  Photo by Todd Hido.
    The unifying elements of walnut and steel—with a little marble and concrete thrown in—continue downstairs in the bathroom and bedroom. Photo by Todd Hido.
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  The master bedroom.  "The small size of the home inspired me to design it as an  urban retreat for casual living based on radical simplicity," says architect Cass Calder Smith.  Photo by Todd Hido.
    The master bedroom. "The small size of the home inspired me to design it as an urban retreat for casual living based on radical simplicity," says architect Cass Calder Smith. Photo by Todd Hido.
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  It was a happy accident the way that the floating Fire Orb, which was designed by architect Doug Garofalo, echoes the onion-dome-inspired architecture beyond.  Photo by Todd Hido.
    It was a happy accident the way that the floating Fire Orb, which was designed by architect Doug Garofalo, echoes the onion-dome-inspired architecture beyond. Photo by Todd Hido.

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