Mondrian's Window, San Francisco, United States
Form4 Architecture

Designed for two artists, Mondrian’s Window is an eclectic 1,400-square-foot rear addition to a 1,900-square-foot existing three-story residence. Completed in 2012, this truly unique addition is rich in explicit formal references to the De Stijl movement with panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay.

Opening up the existing house, the addition providesan abundance of natural light and ample space for creative work.Meanwhile, the existing area gains more breathing room for everyday functions within an Edwardian Arts and Crafts style setting, preserved in deference to two generations of artists who lived in the house prior to the clients.

Planar aspects of both the existing Arts and Crafts portion of the house and the modern addition establish a language that helps one speak to the other harmoniously. This language of planes reveals moments that hint at a much larger scale than what the footprint of this building type can really afford. Built on a lot narrower than the typical San Francisco 25-foot parcel, the addition is not visible from the street like its predecessor; instead, it forms the primary façade of the new house.

At the ground level, the existing garage opens onto a studio—for the production of architectural tree models—that opens onto the lush garden beyond. Connected by a spiral staircase in the studio, the second level comprises an existing street-facing parlor and previously windowless bedroom, which now opens onto a multi-use space for painting and yoga. The existing kitchen and dining room on the third floor open onto a live/work space that also doubles as a space in which to entertain. With this design, as one ascends, the view of the Bay becomes progressively more expansive.

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