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.
All photos by Mike Chino, © Inhabitat