San Francisco is Dwell’s birthplace, so it’s no surprise that we have featured many fantastic modern homes from the city by the bay. See some from our archives!
The exterior of this 1878 Victorian offers little insight into its new, expansive, light-filled interior. The house even keeps its solar-powered personality under wraps, with its panels tucked neatly (and unnoticeably) behind its low-pitched roof. Stepped back from the street and resting genteelly at the top of a large hill, the house keeps a watchful eye on its neighbors and the city that surrounds it. Photos by Dave Lauridsen
Stanley Saitowitz’s aluminum clad apartment building in SoMa (South of Market) ushers in a new type of San Francisco living. A unit facing Natoma Street looks on to what was once housing for the area's factory workers. Photo by Dwight Eschliman.
The residents of atelier KS's first renovation like stuff. When the couple, who lives in San Francisco's Sunset District, first invited the husband-wife design team to their home, the garage they wished to remodel was filled to the brim. "Our jaws just dropped open," Kelli Franz, the "K" of atelier KS, remembers. "We could hardly move in the space." Seth Pare-Mayer, Franz's personal and professional other half, says, "I wondered how we would measure the space." Still, the duo were able to transform the 1,000 square feet into a 500-square-foot garage and a 500-square-foot living space filled with all of the residents' wants: study, family room, guest bedroom, bathroom with a shower, laundry room, and storage space.
A house that survived the Great Quake and the intervening decades is reborn after a serious intervention by a modernist architect. David Baker’s carefully crafted rehabilitation kept the bones of the building intact, while letting in light and air and creating a new relationship between the structure and the street. The living room is a comfortable mélange of pieces Baker grew up with, such as the Robsjohn-Gibbings chaise, and ones he's added, such as the Frank Gehry Power Play club chair. Photo by Dave Lauridsen.
Although postwar California modernism is generally associated with Southern California, the Bay Area’s own tradition has begun in recent years to be more widely acknowledged, and its surviving treasures have gained an appreciative audience. San Francisco’s modernists were faced with the issue of building within a firmly established stylistic tradition—think bay windows and gingerbread. Henry Hill’s 1947 renovation of a 1908 Victorian tucked away on an alley in historic Russian Hill provides a remarkable response to the dilemma. Photos by Misha Gravenor