Tourists are unlikely to stumble upon Glen Park. There's an aura of seclusion in the small San Francisco neighborhood, which is tucked away in the hills, far from the city's familiar attractions. And that feeling extends to the Hill House, a new renovation project completed by architect Cary Bernstein. The owners completely rebuilt a dated 1940s bungalow, creating a modern, light-filled home with a small back yard. The result feels open and airy, making the modest home seem larger than it actually is.
The greenest house is the one that’s already built — a common refrain among historic preservationists, and it’s true. Although the owners of this property wanted to expand it from two bedrooms to three, they opted to keep the existing structure and add to it instead of razing the 80-year-old home and starting over. According to architect Cary Bernstein, the owners wanted to add “just enough” space for their three-person family. So they added onto the existing structure, stretching the building envelope on the sides and in the rear. The most important thing for them was to transform the traditional bungalow into a much more modern house.
The Hill House was on display as part of AIA San Francisco’s 2013 San Francisco Living: Home Tours during this year’s Architecture and the City festival. The home features warm wood paneling both inside and out, creating material continuity between indoor and outdoor spaces. The designers also added dramatic windows — particularly on street-facing rooms — and light-filled voids in the envelope that fill the home with natural light and limit the need for artificial light. Large built-in shelves were also added in the hallway and child’s bedroom for storage.
The original house was a single-story home, and no new story was added during the renovation; instead, the architects took advantage of the extra wide lot. Surfacedesign, Inc. provided landscape design services in the back yard, creating a terrace that integrates the house into the hill. The back yard also features a small concrete fountain and several large built-in planters, creating an inviting space to entertain.
To see more photos of the Hill House, visit Inhabitat’s Flickr set.