Peter’s House by Craig Steely Architecture
Craig Steely Architecture have designed Peter’s House on a steep site next to Dolores Park in San Francisco, California. This modern abode only offers 1,800 square feet of living spaces but the layout is arranged in a way that makes the interior seem a lot bigger. The exterior takes on the shape of a three story glass tower on top of a garage floor. The last floor opens up to a beautiful deck.
The warm modern interior of this residence is constantly bathed in sunlight, courtesy of the large windows on either side of the home, similar to the Lavaflow 5 project by the same studio.
Rather than the typical construction practice of locating foundations staggered up the hillside, Peter’s house locates a 24 ft. x 24 ft. cast-in-place concrete garage at the lowest level and builds a 3-story glass tower above it, altering the land and native hillside drainage very little. The top living floor then spans from a flat plateau at top of the lot to the tower like a bridge, essentially reducing the amount of excavation typically involved in construction of this type by 2/3.
Beyond the structural challenges, the biggest issue in designing Peter’s house was opening the building to the expansive view while maintaining a level of privacy from the sidewalk and garden that pass alongside. Around the time the house was being designed, the new on-ramp to the Golden Gate Bridge was under construction which necessitated clearing a grove of Monterey Cypress trees in it’s path from the Presidio. We secured some of these trees and working with a local milling shop turned them into 90 solid wood louvers (fixed on the exterior/operable on the interior) that regulate openness and privacy.