Cole Valley Residence

Stacking Up

A hilltop’s complex geology and topography informs the dramatic structure of this new home.

Both And

For a couple seeking both sweeping views and peaceful solitude in the heart of the city, this hilltop parcel near the famed Sutro Tower offered the perfect location for their new home. When the hillside presented some geological challenges, JENSEN responded with a composition of shifting volumes holding a series of spaces — from the intimate to the breathtaking.

Dig In

The home embraces and defies the site’s complicated nature. Its heavy board-formed concrete base is carved into the hill adhering closely to the footprint of the lot’s original house. As a counterpoint, the upper volumes, detailed in plaster and glass, float above and reach outward, daringly, toward the bay. Hidden beneath a landscape of native plantings are robust earth shoring, concrete and steel foundations, and drainage systems.

Panorama

The full intent of these structural feats are revealed within the main living floor. Taking advantage of the home’s unusually wide parcel, this open floor with wrapping windows cantilevers outward, immersing the space in sweeping views. The home’s shifting levels play off this horizontal expression, creating spacious decks and heightening the sense of privacy within the bedrooms. This strategy also provides shading which tempers direct sun without imposing on views. High-performance glazing and insulation, and a solar energy system contribute to the home’s LEED Silver rating. 

It’s Personal

Each room was thoughtfully considered with the clients, resulting in deeply personal spaces ranging from cozy nooks with favored artworks to a very private penthouse bedroom retreat. Spaces are tailored for optimal ergonomics, individual habits, and particular desires, such as the grand piano with a view. A code-required second exit became a bridge connecting the living level and garden terrace, an unexpected feature reminiscent of one client’s childhood dreams.

Type
Residential
Client
withheld
Location
San Francisco

Sustainability

LEED® Silver

Architects

Project Leads
Mark Jensen
Emily Gosack
Kimberly Cinco
Margarita Urquiza

Consultants

Structural
Holmes Structures
Geotechnical
Murray Engineers
Civil
Sandis
Shoring
Benjamin P. Lai & Associates
Waterproofing
Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing
Engineering 350
Landscape Architect
Munden Fry Landscape Associates
Lighting
Johanna Grawunder
Sustainability
Home Energy Services
Specifications
Topflight Specs

Photographer

Joe Fletcher
Blake Marvin
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