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Modern Pacific Heights Townhouse

Tucked into two rows of townhouses on a cul-de-sac in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood, a 1939 house becomes art gallery and home at once. Butler Armsden took advantage of the building’s existing orientation and relationship to its surroundings — an intimate neighborhood scale on the street, expansive views at the rear — to create a series of sweeping views. With regard for the existing building, the architects emphasized the dimensions of the interior; tall, slender doors highlight the twelve-foot ceilings and allow the line of view to travel along the main spaces and out through large, stainless steel operable windows. The choice of materials — bold and almost impossibly cool — heightens the exalting spatial experience. In the bathroom, a thickly striated marble floor seems to fold up into an oval tub of the same material, while in the cellar, stainless steel once again appears — this time alongside Lucite — to hold the clients’ wine collection. The overall effect is one of easy opulence married to material sophistication.

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Special Feature

The Lucite wine cellar racks had to be fabricated, transported, and installed at 55 degrees in order to control expansion.


San Francisco, CA


Federico Engel

General Contractor

Ryan Associates

Interior Designer

Steven Volpe Design

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