Haus Martin: Cover-Worthy Redo by CCS Architecture

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When a single man wanted to update his home in San Francisco’s Buena Vista Park District — retaining the same footprint and number of stories — he consulted CCS Architecture. Intent on keeping excellent views of the park to the east and the ocean to the west, he also didn’t want to unduly upset the character of the neighborhood. This was a bit of a challenge, as his former home was wedged between a Victorian and a 1920s Craftsman-style mansion! First, the old house was demolished; then, a two-story plan was devised with a minimalist mindset but without slavish devotion to particular contemporary tenets — an approach the architects call “clever restraint and unorthodox minimalism.” Featured in dwell Magazine as the cover story, this Martin house aptly fits the cover proclamation, “Small is the new big.”

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Looking at the house now, the first thing you might notice is a beautiful façade — thoroughly modern, yet graced with a turret-like tower! The first floor holds sleeping quarters and a wardrobe/dressing room, in an open plan that leads to the deck and faces west. The master bath is the sole bath in the house, with two-way access. The second floor houses the kitchen, dining, and living room spaces, anchored by a free-hanging fireplace called a “fire orb.” Appliances are set within a stainless steel structure that extends seamlessly to “become” a walnut dining table, at an overall length of 30 feet. Polished wood floors are a unifying factor throughout; because of the restructuring of rooms at careful diagonals, the views were preserved within a limited scope. In the end, this design renders a small home truly “big.”

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