Best of the Year, Whole-House Remodeling: Flexible Footprint

Architect Jonathan Feldman increased the size of this urban San Francisco home not with additions but by connecting it to light, air, and the outdoors.

For this project, architect Jonathan Feldman created a facade of clean lines and Mondrian-like geometry.

The new first-floor entry allows the home to engage with the street and "activates" the first floor, Feldman says. The home's exterior is stucco. Steel beams and glass create the corner window surrounding the interior stairwell. On the roof, Feldman installed a roof deck so the owners can enjoy views of San Francisco Bay.

Feldman and the client felt the bump outs and gables on this 1949 home were fussy add-ons. To fit the program of adding more space without increasing the footprint, these elements were removed creating clean lines and a modern style. The second-story entry was removed. A new entry is on the first floor.

The new dining room is front and center. The large window combined with the stair core surrounded by glass bring light and air into the home. Wall cut outs mirror the shapes on the window. This transom look is played out in various rooms.

The original dining room in this 1940 Mission-style single family home was in a dark back corner of the house. Feldman Architects made that area into a master bedroom. The new dining room is now in the front.

The only skylight in the home, this one covers the entire stair core. It slides open to provide access to the roof deck that overlooks the city and the bay. The stairs have painted steel stringers and guardrails with an oak handrail. The treads are 2 1/2- inch wide white oak to match the rest of the wood flooring.

The kitchen was relocated from an enclosed area at the back of the house to the corner. More wall space meant more windows (from Gerkin, Bonelli, bringing in light and air.

Smooth lines and modern shapes are created by dark wood Italian cabinets from Scavolini (, Bosch stainless appliances, a Thermador refrigerator, and a Caesarstone countertop.

A recessed shower curtain track, flush in the ceiling, allows the bathroom to feel open and spa-like.

Once relegated as storage, the first floor now houses a bedroom/guest room, bathroom, family room, and study as well as the main entryway and garage. Sliding glass doors allow easy access to the new garden and give the room a larger appearance.

La Cantina ( sliding glass doors completely open, stack on the side, and don’t intrude on the floor plan or garden space. The yard is designed to be an outdoor room with seating, paving, and lush plantings.

The new first-floor bedroom was conceived as flexible space.

Landscape designer Loretta Gargan used large rectangular bluestone pavers to mirror window shapes and create a modern Mondrian-like effect. Planters offer privacy from neighbors as well as a pleasant view.

The new and easily accessible back garden created by landscape designer Loretta Gargan.

The yard in the original house was uninviting and not easily accessible. Small windows didn't allow for much light and their shape made privacy difficult.

Original first and second floor plans.

Proposed first and second floor plans.

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