One of Inhabitat’s favorite green projects from this year's AIA Home Tours is the Telegraph Hill House, which could just as well be called the ‘house with ridiculous views’. Situated on top of - you guessed it - Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, this mid-century mid-block townhouse renovation provides access to breathtaking views of the Transamerica pyramid, the Oakland Bay Bridge (new and old spans), Treasure Island, Alcatraz, Coit Tower, and even the Golden Gate Bridge off to the west. San Francisco-based design firm Paulett Taggart Architects added a modest rooftop addition, stepped back from the street to maintain its consistent scale with the neighboring buildings - read on for a look inside!
Paulett Taggart Architects responded to the need for more natural light in the interior of the home by adding a dramatic full-height exposed stair and a new glass wall at the side of the house, opening up the central core and connecting all the levels while bringing in natural light and ventilation. Rapidly renewable bamboo wall paneling is seen throughout the home, complementing the overall palette of eco-friendly materials that are sustainably sourced, as well as low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
The project’s principal architect Eric Robinson told us they had originally specified FSC-certified Ipe (a Brazilian hardwood) for the exterior decking, but when the wood was not available with the FSC certification at the time they needed it, they switched to a comparable Brazilian hardwood called Machiche, which was available with the third-party certification. FSC certification provides assurance that the trees were selectively logged and replanted, and shows the level of dedication to sourcing sustainable materials. (Designer’s tip: Allow for a longer lead time to procure FSC-certified wood products, to make sure they are available.)
While the limited available rooftop real estate can only fit a 1.5kW photovoltaic solar array, this is still enough to power the owner’s electric vehicle. Hey, that’s one less oil-burning car! But who wants to drive when you can stay home and soak up these views?
Lead photo via Paulett Taggart Architects, other photos by Piper Kujac for Inhabitat