The open front door provides a glimpse of the dramatic transformation beyond. The modest earthquake era Victorian facade is preserved along the street while the rear is rebuilt to provide code compliance for previous shaky renovations. In a neighborhood where building up is the norm and demolitions not uncommon, a challenging variance approval allowed the project to build a low rearyard addition instead of adding an additional floor, saving a public street view. Stepping the rear construction addressed both concerned neighbors goals for reduced shadowing and client’s goals of views, light and yard access.
The new construction expands the volume and light of the existing living room with tall windows and clerestory while adding stairs down to the new master bedroom level. Views extend to the San Francisco skyline and Oakland Hills beyond.
Skylights balance light and provide a dramatic division between the old and new.
Stairs drop down to the new master bedroom suite with garden access. Landings follow the natural contours of the down-sloping lot, limiting exavation. The open rail and riser allow natural light from the backyard to sift deep into the basement hall.