The integration of old and new elements, of competing urban forces - industrial and residential, public and private, urban and natural beauty - brings this remodeled warehouse to life. The simple, unassuming entrance remains true to the industrial nature of the building and surrounding neighborhood. The three stories of interlocked spaces have distinct personalities and functions: a ground-floor office, a second-level main living area, and a rooftop penthouse with the master bedroom. The rigidity of the original concrete structure, broken down by a subtle interplay of light, levels, and in - and outdoor spaces, making the urban living experience richly textured.
Clear glass panes throughout - a requirement of the owners - offer no visual privacy, and the owners enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline from any vantage point. Their connection to the outer world is a celebration of urban living.
The second floor is the main living space for the young owners and their child. An open-air courtyard, cut out from the existing floor plate, connects the main living space to the new third-floor penthouse. This sectioning translates a loft into house, creating a hybrid of open plan and conventional residential designs.
Rooms are defined with translucent glass walls all around the open courtyard, bringing natural light and air into each, a feature more commonly found in house designs and not typical of lofts. This creates multiple layers of transparent views from one floor to the next, thus interweaving the indoor and outdoor spaces with a play of light and dark.
The airy penthouse addition is the centerpiece of the design. The geometry of this sculptural object is a deliberate contrast to the orthogonal grid of the existing concrete structure. Suggestive of the rooftop staircase enclosures of old San Francisco warehouses, the penthouse adds natural form to the urban landscape-like a grasshopper settled lightly on the building surface. Its angular structural scheme, reminiscent of the opposing forces of the grasshopper's back legs and body, creates both a tension and a resolution of gravitational pull.
The penthouse living area includes the master bedroom and bathroom as one free-flowing space, which wraps around the courtyard, interweaving the upstairs and downstairs levels.