House on the Hill

Engineered to Entertain

Jensen redefines the meaning of “breathtaking views” with this bold renovation of a Twin Peaks residence.

Less Is Much More

While sweeping city and bay views have long distinguished this hillside house, the new owners were game to push the idea further. They agreed with Jensen to “blow the back off,” opening up almost the entire façade. The top floor now boasts a floating glass deck with floor-to-ceiling windows extending around the corners. Here the clients entertain amidst immersive vistas thanks to a minimal, yet seismically enhanced structure.

Walking on air

A glass-floored deck reaches high over the sloped back yard. To walk out on the deck is to feel like you’re floating above the city. You’re not just looking at the view; you’re part of it. Also remarkable, because the glass walkway did not require supporting columns, the permit process was simplified. The 1,200-pound deck is cantilevered, via steel beams that extend two thirds of the way back into the house.

View with a Room

The second story master bedroom features a wooden deck with a staircase leading to the back yard. Glass walls and deck rails open up the suite to the panoramic view. The owners can admire that view even while soaking in the tub, thanks to a sliding wall between bedroom and bathroom.

Invisible Art

The transparent, lighter-than-air feel on each level is the true design achievement here: the building’s structure is barely noticeable and seemingly effortless. Adding shear walls one bay back allowed Jensen to avoid a more overbearing structure at the façade, and using less steel even kept the costs down. Function, economy, and aesthetics all came together to make this house a singular sight to behold.

San Francisco


2014 Most Innovative Decorative Glass Project by Glass Magazine


New York Times, March 2014
San Francisco Magazine, March 2014


Project Leads
Mark Jensen
Chris Kalos
Project Team
Melissa Nordquist
Olivia Calalo


Kembcon Corporation


Jetton Construction


Mariko Reed