In San Francisco, getting the most out of a site is like a game of Tetris, but the payoff can be enormous. In this case, a decrepit, landlocked two-flat with no view and no yard is now a four-level home with some of the best views in the Bay Area and a new lush green space.
“The house is stunning,” said one judge. “And given what was there—a dumpy little house on a such a constrained end-block site—they had the vision to deliver on what those views had to offer.” What tipped the odds was the clients securing a tiny, almost unbuildable adjacent lot. The city allowed the architects to combine the two lots, providing the elbow room to capture those scenic opportunities—including the Bay, the city skyline, Coit Tower, and other coveted landmarks.
Eric Dumican and his team dug down to gain lower-level access to the new garden and added a partial fourth level to give the primary bedroom the pinnacle panorama—from inside and from a commodious terrace.
Then the challenge was to weave the new spaces into a coherent, connected dwelling. “Making the building flow from floor to floor is the most important element,” says the architect, who designed a continuous, sculptural red staircase to provide that flow—a vital artery for the new life within.
Dumican Mosey Architects
Russian Hill Residence
Architect: Eric Dumican, Dumican Mosey Architects, San Francisco
Builder: Devlin McNally Construction, San Francisco
Project size: 3,300 square feet
Site size: 0.05 acre
Construction cost: $719 per square foot
Photography: Blake Marvin
Bath ventilation: Panasonic
Cabinet hardware: Häfele
Cladding: Custom stained cedar and powder coated aluminum
Door hardware: FSB; Omnia
Entry doors: Fleetwood; Hex Veneer custom door slab
Faucets: Hansgrohe; Blanco
Flooring: Carlisle; concrete; Ann Sacks’ Terrazzo
Kitchen appliances: Thermador; Blomberg (garden level)
Lighting: Bega; WAC; Tech
Lighting control: Lutron
Paints: Benjamin Moore
Radiant heating: Rinnai
Sinks: Kohler; Wetstyle
Toilets: Duravit; TOTO
Tubs: Blu Bathworks; Kohler
Windows/window wall systems: Fleetwood