Incredible modern house gets reimagined on a unique site in San Francisco - David Watkins Designs
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Incredible modern house gets reimagined on a unique site in San Francisco

Incredible modern house gets reimagined on a unique site in San Francisco

modern home exterior

Located in San Francisco’s Dolores Heights neighborhood, this modern house was a collaboration between Jones | Haydu and Kevin Sawyers of Sawyers Design, who is also part owner of the residence. Kevin and his husband wished to remodel and expand their existing earthquake cottage that had been added onto piecemeal over the years, transforming these awkwardly connected rooms into an open, harmonious space.

Given the existing footprint covered much of the lot, the goal was to make the most of the house’s relationship to this unique site. The circulation for the site and house is a straight axis, interacting with the building’s forms as they ascend to the main entrance. 

DESIGN DETAILS: ARCHITECTURE Jones | Haydu INTERIOR DESIGN Sawyers Design CONTRACTOR Jeff King and Co STRUCTURAL ENGINEER Strandberg Engineering MECHANICAL ENGINEER Design/Build ELECTRICAL ENGINEER Design/Build GEOTECHNICAL ENGINEER Rockridge Geotechnical HISTORIC Left Coast Architectural History

modern home exterior

modern home exterior

Continuing at the interior, one’s experience along this axis is always anchored on the downhill end by Sutro Tower, and on the uphill end by a magnificent Monterey cypress tree.

modern home exterior

modern home exterior

The forms of the 3,180-square-foot house nest with each other, highlighted by their material palette of cedar, standing seam metal, and cementitious panels. These forms and the interior palette create rooms within a wide-open plan.

modern deck

modern deck

The crescendo of forms occurs at the front, nodding to quintessential San Francisco vernacular architecture.

modern home exterior deck

modern home exterior deck

An “inverted” Bay window box cantilevers eight feet from the facade highlighting three experiences of the “urban forest”. Below is an exterior fire pit for the forest floor.

modern home entry

modern home entry

Inside, the box frames a view of the “trunk” level. Above, a roof deck extends the living room, allowing an experience of the “canopy” level. At this deck, the backdrop is that almost child-like expression of home, a gable.

modern living room

modern living room

Brands/Products
1. Doors and Windows: Western Windows Systems, Series 670
2. Cable Railing: Umili
3. Floor tile: Mosa
4. Plumbing Faucets: Graff
5. Pedestal Sinks: Blu Bathworks
6. Kitchen Chandelier: Sogni Di Cristalo
7. Paint: Benjamin Moore
8. Wood Flooring: Tulip
9. Stone at baths: Calacatta Vagli
10. Stone at kitchen: Quartzite, infinity white
11. Kitchen Faucet: Riobel Mythic
12. Cabinetry: Custom design, built by Rick Robbins

modern living room with a fireplace

modern living room with a fireplace

What We Love: This house in San Francisco was completely reimagined to offer its inhabitants an improved floor plan layout that maximizes views of its urban surroundings. Large windows flood the interiors with abundant light and warmth, allowing the beauty of San Francisco to permeate. Overall, we think the project team did a fabulous job of creating a stylish and inviting home with great attention to detail and a fabulous indoor-outdoor connection.

Tell Us: What details in this home do you find most appealing? Let us know in the Comments below!

Note: Be sure to check out a couple of other incredible home tours that we have highlighted here on One Kindesign in the state of California: A 1920s Spanish Revival home gets a dreamy refresh in San Francisco and A warehouse loft offers an industrial chic live/work home in San Francisco.

modern living room

modern living room

modern deck with outdoor furniture

modern deck with outdoor furniture

modern living room

modern living room

modern living room

modern living room

modern outdoor deck with alfresco dining

modern outdoor deck with alfresco dining

modern sitting area with a fireplace

modern sitting area with a fireplace

modern fireplace siting area

modern fireplace siting area

modern home office

modern home office

modern dining room

modern dining room

modern dining room

modern dining room

modern kitchen and dining area

modern kitchen and dining area

modern kitchen with blue cabinets

modern kitchen with blue cabinets

modern kitchen

modern kitchen

modern staircase

modern staircase

modern kitchen and dining area

modern kitchen and dining area

modern staircase

modern staircase

modern staircase with a view of the bathroom through a glass wall

modern staircase with a view of the bathroom through a glass wall

modern hallway

modern hallway

modern hallway with a skylight

modern hallway with a skylight

modern bedroom

modern bedroom

modern bedroom

modern bedroom

modern bedroom

modern bedroom

modern bathroom

modern bathroom

modern bathroom

modern bathroom

modern bedroom

modern bedroom

modern bathroom

modern bathroom

modern bathroom

modern bathroom

modern bathroom with a freestanding tub

modern bathroom with a freestanding tub

modern closet

modern closet

modern home office

modern home office

modern home office

modern home office

modern patio with an outdoor fire pit

modern patio with an outdoor fire pit

modern home exterior

modern home exterior

modern home exterior at dusk

modern home exterior at dusk

modern home exterior at dusk

modern home exterior at dusk

modern home exterior at dusk

modern home exterior at dusk

modern home exterior at dusk

modern home exterior at dusk

modern home exterior at dusk

modern home exterior at dusk

modern home exterior at dusk

modern home exterior at dusk

modern home exterior at dusk

modern home exterior at dusk

modern home exterior

modern home exterior

modern home exterior

modern home exterior

modern home exterior aerial view

modern home exterior aerial view

modern home exterior aerial view

modern home exterior aerial view

PHOTOGRAPHER Matthew Millman

modern home first floor plan

modern home first floor plan

modern home second floor plan

modern home second floor plan

modern home third floor plan

modern home third floor plan

modern home lower plan

modern home lower plan

modern home section plan

modern home section plan

modern home section plan

modern home section plan

modern home site plan

modern home site plan

modern home section perspective

modern home section perspective

modern home section plan

modern home section plan

modern home longitudinal section looking south

modern home longitudinal section looking south

One Kindesign has received this project from our submissions page. If you have a project you would like to submit, please visit our submit your work page for consideration! 

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