Architect Albert Lanier’s Redwood House in San Francisco Gets a Spirited Renovation

Designed in 1974 by Lanier, famed artist Ruth Asawa’s husband, the Noe Valley residence features fresh new finishes and an expanded plan that takes advantage of city views.
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Project Details:

Location: Noe Valley, San Francisco, California

Architect: Studio Terpeluk / @studioterpeluk

Landscape Design: Monica Viarengo / @monicaviarengolandscapedesign

Color Consultant: Beatrice Santiccioli

Contractor: Saturn Construction

Structural Engineering: Strandberg Engineering

Photographer: Joe Fletcher / @joefletcherphoto

From the Architect: "The Redwood House was originally designed by prominent San Francisco architect Albert Lanier, who animated the city’s art scene (in particular that of Noe Valley) with his wife, the prominent modernist sculptor Ruth Asawa. The owner’s request was to increase the volume of the house while maintaining its original DNA as defined by angular geometries, redwood interiors, and exterior courtyards. With the addition of a new guest room suite, a home office, a wet bar, and a media room, the Studio Terpeluk was able to increase the house’s size from roughly 2,260 square feet to 3,218 square feet. The house façades and cascading courtyards were reclad in irregular western red cedar planks to create a unique visual look.

"The studio surgically modified the house in an architecturally non-aggressive manner: Living spaces were opened up to maximize views and the dialogue between indoor and outdoor. Stepping into the property from the street level, an intimate courtyard paved with precast concrete and redwood decking marks the main entrance. In the open-plan living area on the upper level, the flooring is dark-knotted Douglas fir boards, fabricated from locally reclaimed San Francisco pier pilings. Redwood surfaces and structural elements complete the warm interior landscape, from the sloping roof beams to partition walls and built-in shelves."

"The colors of the planting scheme are natural and local—orange, yellow, blue—bringing into the house a glimpse of California’s vast coastal landscape. Free from decorative motives, light and materiality take precedence in this thoughtfully crafted house. The architectural approach is restrained and minimal but at the same time warm and inviting. Mixing the vintage redwood tonalities of the house with a contemporary language of its own, Studio Terpeluk’s intervention is respectful, unique and timeless."

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that this was the home of Ruth Asawa.

Related Reading:

Inspiring Icons / Ruth Asawa

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