A-to-Z House

San Francisco, California

A modest home expands through aggregation, multiplying scaled versions of the original A-type pulled along a twisted Z axis. The result is a double offset – a 2nd story structure to capture sweeping views and a voided landscape carved into the hillside. New forms combine with the old, erasing boundaries.

The A-to-Z House proposes an alternative to conventional approaches for expanding an outmoded San Francisco home. Perched on a hillside in Golden Gate Heights, a modest single story 1934 developer vernacular structure had limited space and failed to take advantage of expansive views of Sutro Tower, Golden Gate Park, Sausalito, and the Bay. But rather than replacing or merely attaching to the existing structure, the A-to-Z strategy seizes upon the existing forms – scaling, repeating, and manipulating found objects into a contextual collection of structures comprising a dynamic home immersed in its surroundings.

A new gabled roof structure is inserted at the ridgeline of the existing living room bar, stepping back from the street to reduce mass and nestling into the existing roof to establish a low horizon line. This datum is characterized by a ribbon of operable windows that wrap two corners of the building to take advantage of critical views, accented by to a sawtooth window system and thickened metal edge. Inside, variations of the floor level and ceiling height provide different ways to experience this horizon in each space, from sweeping vista to private lookout.

As the new gabled structure reaches the carefully terraced back yard, it twists and wraps down around the dining room. This turn along a torqued Z-shaped axis (alternately horizontal and vertical) is held ever so slightly apart from the existing house, using a band of light and the articulation of the ceiling to create meaningful difference out of similar forms.

Spiegel Aihara Workshop uploaded A-to-Z House through Add A Home.
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Front Elevation 1 Photo  of A-to-Z House modern home

Front Elevation 1

Front Elevation 2 Photo 2 of A-to-Z House modern home

Front Elevation 2

Back Elevation Photo 3 of A-to-Z House modern home

Back Elevation

From Back Patio Photo 4 of A-to-Z House modern home

From Back Patio

Split Level @ SAWtooth Ribbon Window Photo 5 of A-to-Z House modern home

Split Level @ SAWtooth Ribbon Window

Sunny Vantage Point with Views Over the Bay Photo 6 of A-to-Z House modern home

Sunny Vantage Point with Views Over the Bay

Between two New and Old Photo 7 of A-to-Z House modern home

Between two New and Old

Perched on a Corner  Photo 8 of A-to-Z House modern home

Perched on a Corner

Bedroom through to the Den Photo 9 of A-to-Z House modern home

Bedroom through to the Den

Ribbon Window from the Den Photo 10 of A-to-Z House modern home

Ribbon Window from the Den

Kitchen Opens to Patio Photo 11 of A-to-Z House modern home

Kitchen Opens to Patio

SAWtooth Window Photo 12 of A-to-Z House modern home

SAWtooth Window

SAWtooth Window Photo 13 of A-to-Z House modern home

SAWtooth Window

A-to-Z Diagram Photo 14 of A-to-Z House modern home

A-to-Z Diagram

Ground Floor Plan Photo 15 of A-to-Z House modern home

Ground Floor Plan

2nd Floor Plan Photo 16 of A-to-Z House modern home

2nd Floor Plan

Section Photo 17 of A-to-Z House modern home

Section

Site Plan Photo 18 of A-to-Z House modern home

Site Plan

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