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San Francisco’s Solar “Mission: House” is a High-Tech Marvel
Posted By Mike Chino On September 15, 2010 @ 8:14 pm In Architecture,Green Building,San Francisco | 1 Comment
Nestled at the base of Twin Peaks, San Francisco's Mission District sees more sunlight than most other areas of the city -- even throughout the region's notoriously foggy summers, pervasive coastal clouds spill around the sides of the peaks to afford the area a broad swath of sunlight. Interstice Architects' Mission: House capitalizes on this available solar resource with a highly experimental design that synthesizes translucent front and back façades, smart passive solar strategies, and a 4kW solar array that regularly produces more energy than the home consumes. We had a chance to check out this amazing home during this year's AIASF Living: Home Tours - read on for an exclusive look!
Designed as a test lab for innovative building strategies, the Mission: House showcases a wide range of experimental materials , systems, and construction techniques. The home’s entrance is emblazoned with a “greenskin” made up of recycled glazed windows  assembled together into a multifaceted façade. The units were sourced from local reclamation yards and are layered to create striking visual effect.
The rear of the building is capped with a two-story translucent facade made of thermal plastics similar to those used in greenhouses. Although the translucent polycarbonate panels offer little insulation value, their south-facing orientation mitigates this heat loss while providing tons of daylighting  throughout the day.
The interior of the home features a large multipurpose creative space that can serve equally well as an office, gallery, or play room. A series of sliding walls  provide clean and uncluttered storage space, while colorful magnetized cabinets  offer a fun multifunctional surface for work and play. A bamboo garden  in the back yard provides a place for rainwater runoff to infiltrate, and a spiraling staircase leads up to the living room.
The home’s bathroom  is a marvel in and of itself – the cool blue space contains an airy chamber that is completely open to the sky. When the weather turns foul, a mechanical roof section  slides into place to create an enclosed skylit space.
A rooftop garden planted with tomatoes and herbs tops off the house, while a massive 4kW south-facing solar array soaks up the sun’s rays. The home’s architect and owner Andrew Dunbar told me that the project regularly feeds energy back into the grid – no doubt thanks to its luminous daylit design and efficient green building strategies.
+ AIA SF Home Tours 
All photos by Mike Chino, © Inhabitat
URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/san-franciscos-solar-mission-house-is-a-high-tech-marvel/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2010/09/missionhouse-comp03.jpg
 materials: http://inhabitat.com/materials/
 recycled glazed windows: http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/02/01/recycled-windshield-greenhouse-grows-more-glass/
 daylighting: http://inhabitat.com/daylighting/
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2010/09/missionhouse-ed11.jpg
 series of sliding walls: http://inhabitat.com/?attachment_id=161103
 magnetized cabinets: http://inhabitat.com/?attachment_id=161109
 bamboo garden: http://inhabitat.com/?attachment_id=161095
 Image: http://inhabitat.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/2010/09/missionhouse-comp02.jpg
 bathroom: http://inhabitat.com/?attachment_id=161102
 mechanical roof section: http://inhabitat.com/?attachment_id=161098
 + Interstice Architects: http://www.intersticearchitects.com/
 + AIA SF Home Tours: http://www.aiasf.org/Programs/Public_Programs/Home_Tours/Fall_HT.htm
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