When a picturesque mid-century modern residence in San Francisco underwent an interior remodel and minor exterior updates by Klopf Architecture, it set the stage for an exceptional transformation. The new owners, a young family of four, envisioned a fusion of contemporary minimalism and mid-century style for their home.
To realize their dream, the family enlisted the expertise of Klopf Architecture, renowned for its proficiency in modern and mid-century design, and re-engaged general contractors San Francisco Design and Construction to actualize the team’s innovative plan. The primary challenge was to develop an addition that would harmonize with the original structure and butterfly roof, while maximizing the property’s potential and showcasing the stunning views of San Francisco and the Bay.
The exterior underwent a comprehensive makeover, incorporating new materials, enhanced hardscaping, and a contemporary color scheme. The once-monotonous exterior evolved into a visually engaging interplay of textures and shapes, striking a balance between the home’s mid-century origins and modern design elements.
The ambitious endeavor involved constructing an entirely new upper floor, which accommodated a primary suite, office, and a spacious roof deck. The deck significantly expanded the living area, compensating for the lack of a backyard and strengthening the connection to the outdoors and the view. A green roof outside the office added texture to the exterior, while seamlessly integrating the addition with the surrounding treetop landscape. This innovative outdoor space, perched high above the street, offers a tranquil haven for the family and guests.
The addition serves as a secluded sanctuary for the parents, providing a respite from the lively activity on the lower floors. The upper level houses the client’s office, a viewing and sitting area in the primary suite, separate closets, and a vast private roof deck with cityscape views. Ingeniously, the architects connected the new upper level to the existing butterfly roof, creating a distinctive “taco shell” geometry that envelops the new structure.
The primary bathroom exemplifies tranquility and luminosity. A large lightwell behind the vanity wall illuminates both the bathroom and the family room below, compensating for the loss of skylights upon the new level’s addition. Skylights, strategically positioned windows, and generous lightwells foster a bright, airy atmosphere while maintaining privacy.
On the main floor, the stairwell and lightwell were updated to fill all three levels with natural light. The custom steel stairs with open wood treads lend a modern, airy touch to the staircase. By relocating the staircase forward, the architects ingeniously eliminated the need for guests to pass through the primary bedroom to access the roof deck.
The home’s north-facing orientation allowed the architects to embrace openness and light without concerns about heat gain or excessive sunlight. Elements from the main house, such as the tongue-and-groove ceilings, exposed beams, and flooring, were integrated into the addition to ensure a cohesive, harmonious design.
The result is an architectural masterpiece that epitomizes the best of San Francisco living, with unmatched views and a seamless fusion of mid-century charm and contemporary design. The architects’ vision of an elevated urban oasis has been artfully brought to life, redefining the essence of a mid-century modern home in the 21st century.
- Klopf Architecture Project Team: John Klopf, AIA, Geoffrey Campen, Yegvenia Torres-Zavala, and Mason St. Peter.
- Contractor: San Francisco Design and Construction
- Photography © 2022 and 2010 Mariko Reed
- Location: San Francisco, CA
- Year completed: 2021