This year's San Francisco Living: Home Tours event, hosted by AIA San Francisco, featured several impressive renovation projects, but few had the show-stopping ability of the Butterfly House, which was designed by architect John Maniscalco. The four-story house is located in San Francisco's Russian Hill neighborhood, and it's a complete rebuild of an existing midcentury home. The home flows freely between indoor and outdoor spaces, and the top floor enjoys views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
San Francisco has a very mild climate. There are seasons — it’s colder and rainier in the winter, and it’s warmest in the spring and fall — but temperatures fluctuate much less than in other parts of the country. To take full advantage of the lovely weather, Maniscalco designed the home to open up to the outdoors in several innovative ways. On the second floor, the living room flows into a manicured back yard. The yard features a dramatic gas fireplace and several comfortable pieces of patio furniture, making it feel more like a living area than a typical yard.
Similarly, the living room on the top floor features enormous windows that, when opened, make the room feel like a space that’s floating above the city. Because the house is situated on a steep hill, the top floor looks out on the neighborhood below, and it enjoys excellent views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. The final outdoor space is the large roof deck, which is furnished with a wicker sofa and has even better bay views.
During the renovation process, Maniscalco relocated the entrance was to the front of the property. The design team also added studio, which wasn’t open to visitors during the September open house, at the rear of the property. They also added a walkway connecting the studio to the second floor living areas. With so many different living spaces, both inside and out, the Butterfly House would be a perfect house for entertaining.