A historic Pelton Cottage survived the 1906 earthquake and fires only to be almost completely destroyed by a fire in 2013. Into this near blank slate we designed a “house within a house”, creating a two story volume and light shelf to bounce southern daylight between levels of the residence. This strategy allowed us to keep the traditional center room of a railroad Victorian while still maintaining an open view from the front living room to the kitchen at the rear.

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Working with an empty shell due to a fire the designers created a 13-foot ceiling on the main floor, located above street level. Within that they tucked a "house-within-a-house" against the southern wall. The mini-house encloses a guest and powder room. Its "roof" catches the sun that pours in through four skylights above it. A bridge links the living area to the kitchen.

By eliminating the attic and carving out a former crawl space, Red Dot Studio created room for the residents’ bedrooms underneath the primary living areas. The slatted-hickory-and-glass bridge allows light from a row of skylights to penetrate deep into the lower level.

Swell lights by Pablo hang above Hot Mesh stools from Blu Dot. The millwork is by J. Spix Fine Cabinets.