We often talk about the trials and tribulations of moving into a smaller home, but what about the issues that come with up-sizing into a much bigger abode? In Feldman Architecture’s latest project, a family of five loved the additional space in their new Noe Valley property, yet were concerned with maintaining their established pattern of family unity. The solution? A client-driven design that pairs expansive common living areas with private and personalized interior moments. Let’s take a closer look.
A Home With History
Originally built in 1912, this home is somewhat of a stalwart of the Noe Valley neighborhood. It’s located on the largest lot of the block, however before renovation, it was one of the tiniest properties in the area. In other words, Noe Valley II was the epitome of unfulfilled potential.
At some point during its history, the home had undergone a facade remodel, where wood shingles were replaced with stucco. As the stucco was in poor condition, the Feldman Architecture team chose to restore the classic exterior. They were even able to recover the original front door which had been found in the basement. This fit perfectly with their client’s desire to recapture the rustic charm synonymous with the older San Francisco homes.
Bring To Light
Prior to its remodel, this Noe Valley home felt cramped and confined. Dwarfed by neighboring structures on both sides of its property lines, the home lacked sufficient natural light. Feldman Architecture’s response? Skylights.
The most impressive example of the use of skylights has to be in the main stairwell. Here, an 18ft x 12ft waterfall skylight floods natural light into the center of the home through four storeys. Complemented by a thicket of re-purposed glass pendants, come night or day this space becomes a light well that illuminates the entire home.
Central to the brief for this project was a modern floor plan which balanced privacy with social space. Inside, this translates to expansive open living areas which naturally accommodate group gatherings.
Effortless connection to the outdoors make the garden feel like an extension of the home as opposed to a separate entity. Meanwhile, a series of decks cascading into the yard offers multiple outdoor living areas at every level.
“The entire back side of the home offers extensive views of San Francisco, the Bay and the Oakland hills beyond. It’s a wonderful experience to have the view evolve from the basement to the Master Suite at the top floor.” – Feldman Architecture
Upstairs, private suites for the kids and parents ensure everyone in the family has a space of their own. Much like the rest of the house, these spaces embrace a bright contemporary aesthetic. The master bathroom in particular is a design highlight. Modeled after the Park Hyatt hotel in Shanghai, it boasts clean lines and enviable tile work.
Having design-focused clients meant that Feldman Architecture could really involve them in the creative process. As such, the home owners had a decisive role in choosing the finish selections and all of the decorative lighting fixtures.
Many of the architectural details throughout the home were also led by their stylistic choices, including the concrete desk adjacent to the kitchen. All in all, the design of this home was intrinsically collaborative.
“Projects in San Francisco take a long time to complete because of the very lengthy permitting process and the construction challenges that come with building in confined urban conditions. The response from homeowners is almost always the same… relief [that] the process is over and they can now enjoy their new home!” – Feldman Architecture
As always with Feldman Architecture, sustainability was at the fore of the practical building process. Careful selection of building materials for instance, alongside the implementation of an efficient heat-driven, radiant floor system, and prudent water management strategies, ensured this Noe Valley home received LEED Platinum certification.
One of my favorite eco-features of this home is the addition of a re-purposed shipping container in lieu of building an extension from scratch. It was originally conceived as a storage shed and play room, but has served as an overflow sleeping area for guests on occasion.
A Home for All
Overall, one can easily see how Noe Valley has all the makings of a beautiful yet functional family home. Awash with neutral tones and natural accents, the aesthetics of this abode is timeless. Paired with the effortless interconnectedness of spaces, it’s a home which is naturally in tune with the rhythm of everyday family life.