The US company Jensen Architects renovated a Victorian house in San Francisco with perforated aluminum panels on the back and a matching minimalist interior.
The local company won the 2017 AIA San Francisco Historic Preservation Commendation Award for the Alamo Square Residence, which features a mix of original and contemporary elements.
Victorian homes are a hallmark of San Francisco architecture, characterized by colorful facades, front-facing gables, and detailed features. “From the street, the original facade from 1889 has been faithfully restored and appears to have been immersed in a modern bathroom made of silver paint, suggesting the transformation inside,” said Jensen Architects.
The back of the house is a stark contrast, with fully glazed walls covered with sliding aluminum grilles. The combination of contemporary design with historical preservation sets the structure apart from others in the neighborhood.
The four-story building has a garage, three bedrooms, an office and a separate family room, all below the main living area on the third level. Here, the kitchen, dining and living room are designed with an open floor plan and have a wide plank floor.
A dark blue island is located in the center of the completely white kitchen and has a window cabinet for additional storage space. A dinette to the right shows the aluminum sliding panels that serve as window treatments to control sunlight and privacy.
An al fresco dining room off the kitchen has a built-in bench that extends the length of the wall. The bench meets an A-line fireplace in the living room, covered in white subway tile.
The focal point of the Alamo Square Residence is the modern wooden staircase that runs through the center of the house. Its sharp angles form a spiral, with thick railings – or half walls – adding to its bulkiness.
The stairs open to the roof, where the sun shines through a light shaft. The roof offers a wide view of the surroundings and is decorated with a colorful couch and chair. Jensen Architects teamed up with local company Hulburd Design to furnish the home.
The renovation approach is not typical of many current projects in San Francisco that have completely replaced historic homes with modern homes. Examples include a black and gray house by Edmonds + Lee Architects and a wooden slatted residence from IwamotoScott.
The photography is by Joe Fletcher.