This Home’s Glazed Facade Embraces Natural Light and Changing Daylight Conditions

This Home’s Glazed Facade Embraces Natural Light and Changing Daylight Conditions

By Kathryn M.
Presented by LaCantina Doors
Perched on a plateaued corner lot in San Francisco’s Dolores Heights neighborhood, this home’s facade frames panoramic city views and maximizes indoor/outdoor living.

Designed by San Francisco–based John Maniscalco Architecture, the striking glazed exterior of this home takes advantage of its hilltop location to pull in natural light and accentuate the experience of changing daylight conditions. The design heavily focuses on interior relationships with exterior spaces, starting with a carefully planned entry sequence to transition from street-level, upward to the property, and into the home’s expansive living spaces. 

The highly glazed exterior is balanced using cedar plank cladding and large pine trees to provide privacy and filter sunlight. 

"Our core inspiration was to use the plateau shape of the lot as a plinth of sorts," states principal designer John Maniscalco. A series of sequential spaces begins with a journey from the street up to an exterior courtyard, where the main entrance is revealed as a two-story volume clad in cedar planking. "Once inside, a bent-steel staircase leads to the main living area, creating a particularly special moment when the verticality of the entry hall transitions to the horizontality of an expansive great room and views outward toward the city," adds John.  

Sunlight pours into all sides of the interior, lending living spaces the scientifically proven benefits of increased exposure to natural light. 

The living area, dining room, and kitchen flow together as an open floor plan on the main level, while the glazing treatment illuminates all of the spaces in natural light. Built into the overall glazing design system are several sets of LaCantina Multi Slide Door systems, opening each area to the outdoor deck and anchoring the interior with the landscape. The south and east-facing location of the decks also provides protection from wind and allows the sunny outdoor spaces to be used most of the year. 

"LaCantina Doors are a key component of the spatial experience within this home." 

"LaCantina Doors extend the home’s living area into the landscape, which was a critical part of the design," states principal designer John Maniscalco. 

LaCantina Doors Zero Post Corner system provides a seamless indoor-outdoor connection with a clean, minimalist design that blends directly into the space. 

A central steel staircase connects the living areas with the bedrooms on the upper level. The benefits of warm natural lighting are enhanced by a large skylight placed above the stairs, allowing sunlight to penetrate deep into the home. The master suite spans the entire front of the house, with a set of LaCantina Stacking Multi Slide Doors opening the space up to a large deck with panoramic views. 

LaCantina Multi Slide Doors have a unique interlocking track design, adding to their strength
and structure. An advanced seal system also provides weather protection in harsher climates. 

More LaCantina Sliding Doors were used on the lower level, flooding the space with natural light while providing a guest bedroom and recreation area with access to the side yard. "The extensive use of sliding doors creates a different natural experience for each level of the house—with a more intimate, grassy area on the ground level, decks adjoining the main level that introduce filtered city views, and an expansive deck off the master suite that is entirely open to the vista." 

Using architectural-grade materials and AAMA-certified low-profile wheels, the flush-stacking,
multi-slide door panels operate effortlessly and can be hidden away into a pocket in the wall. 

All of the spaces were carefully arranged to provide varying experiences around the home. The glazing treatment connects the homeowners with nature and ensures the entire residence feels brightened by natural light. When asked how LaCantina fits within his firm’s design philosophy, John describes the team’s focus on contributing to the experience already provided by natural surroundings. "In this home, LaCantina Doors are a critical component of what we are trying to do with the architecture."

"The narrow profiles and large dimensions available with LaCantina Doors are really important to helping us achieve our goals," states principal designer John Maniscalco. 

Founded in 1993, California–based LaCantina is an award-winning pioneer in the design and manufacturing of large opening door and window systems. As homeowners and architects explore ways to bring more natural light into a space using expansive exterior doors and windows, LaCantina offers a complete range of options in standard or custom sizes, including stacking or pocketing multi slide doors, bi-fold doors, and swing doors. Other options are also offered, such as an innovative zero-post corner layout, combination door and window systems, as well as servery window configurations. 

 To learn more, please visit the LaCantina website.

Project Credits:

Architect: John Maniscalco Architecture / @john_maniscalco_architecture

General Contractor: Design Line Construction / @designlinebuilds 

Landscape Design: Surfacedesign, Inc.

 Structural Engineering: Strandberg Engineering

Photography: Joe Fletcher / @joefletcherphoto

Door System: LaCantina Doors


Get the Dwell Newsletter

Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.