Peter’s House is located in my favorite City in the world, San Francisco, above Dolores Park on a steep site that borders a public garden.
Not a large house by any means — just 1800 square feet — but it uses the steep lot quite efficiently. Rather than the typical method of construction which means staggering foundation for each level up the hillside, Peter’s House uses a 24 ft. x 24 ft. cast-in-place concrete garage at the lowest level and builds a 3-story glass tower above it, altering the land and native hillside drainage very little.
The top living floor spans from a flat plateau at top of the lot to the tower like a bridge, essentially reducing the amount of excavation typically involved in construction of this type of home. But, beyond the structural challenges, the biggest issue in designing Peter’s House was opening the building to the expansive views while maintaining a level of privacy from the sidewalk and gardens that pass alongside.
Around the time the house was being designed, the new on-ramp to the Golden Gate Bridge was under construction which necessitated clearing a grove of Monterey Cypress trees in its path from the Presidio; the architects acquired some of those trees and, working with a local milling shop, turned them into 90 solid wood louvers — fixed on the exterior yet operable on the interior — that regulate openness and privacy.
So the house has the most amazing views of The City yet maintains a sense of privacy in its urban park setting.
I personally think it should be called Bob and Carlos’ House.