San Francisco Modern Architecture firm Hart Wright Architects designs a remodel and restoration of a San Francisco Victorian house

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Hart Wright Architects is showcasing a project in San Francisco. The project is a harmonious blend of the Victorian style from the turn of the last century and Hart Wright Architects' own unique eclectic and modern design style.

modern victorian san francisco

Hart Wright Architects completely restores a 1909 San Francisco Victorian

This project shows the successful of collaboration of clients and architect that resulted in a beautiful and comfortable San Francisco Victorian home.

San Francisco modern architecture firm Hart Wright Architects announces they completed a full gut remodel of a 1909 Victorian in San Francisco’s recently designated Duboce Park Historic District. The house was extremely run down and in need of not only a new foundation but willing partners to bring it back to life in the 21st century. Its new owners, our clients, were just the right family to take on the role of property stewards.

As a team we worked quickly to identify where major changes were needed to unleash the hidden potential of this classic San Francisco Victorian residence. As always our goal in any project is to connect a warm inviting modern interior space to the local California climate. In this case the rear of the house faces due South and the owners desired lots of easily accessible outdoor space. We set about to provide South-facing exterior decks and balconies on all levels. The resulting layout required only minor changes to the building envelope that included a 75sf one story addition to make the kitchen/dining area flow better to the back yard and a simple dormer setback from the front of the house to capture 600sf of unwarranted attic space without affecting the historic nature of the front facade. We now had 4 levels of occupied space, all with access to the outdoors.

The key to this was prioritizing the stairwell located at the center of the house. The old stair was like the rest of the house ready for a face lift. We refurbished the existing main stair with a new custom metal decorative railing then then stacked a new 3 flight stair to reach the new attic space. With the addition of operable skylights we now have a dramatic 3 story space with sunlight raking down through the house to the newly re-worked entry.

The new attic level includes a family/media room an office and a full bathroom under a vaulted roof with large skylights to balance the light and naturally ventilate the building.

Although the new interior space is fully modern we kept much of the notions of the original house like the painted decorative casings and a nod to decorative wallpaper, though both came with a distinctive geometric twist. The play with geometric patterning continued on in the choices made with Fireclay tile in the bathrooms and hexagonal stone in the kitchen.

At street level the house’s Victorian character had been brutally overlaid with mid-20th century cedar shake shingles, we worked with SF planning to restore this facade in meticulous detail. Remaining original “found” elements were discovered and retained to be exposed and cleaned up. Missing components were re-made to match the neighborhood fabric.

It was a long and complicated process but we think the results speak for themselves.

The attic had a non code compliant stair and the space up there was not legalized. The clients decided to convert this upstairs which required designing a proper stair up to it. This also required building a dormer to get the required headroom since the attic was the bottom of an equilateral triangle/45 degree angled roof. We saved space by locating the new stair over the lower stair. With the stairs efficiently stacked, we created a dramatic 3 story space. We designed a decorative steel railing and hung a sculptural light fixture from a skylight that sheds light all the way down from our new dormer to the first floor. The attic got a new full bathroom with steam shower, an office and a media hang out room with a south facing outdoor balcony.

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Eliza Hart
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