2014 BOY Winner: Pièce de Résistance

PROJECT NAME Skyhaus
LOCATION San Francisco
FIRM Aidlin Darling Design

When Joseph Esherick completed this house, circa 1950, nothing impeded its views from Pacific Heights. That’s sadly not the case today, given the surrounding mega-mansions. But the current owners nevertheless loved and valued their home, almost untouched since it was completed. Any changes would have to honor its history, Joshua Aidlin and David Darling agreed.


They left the front facade intact, gutting the interior and build­ing out the rear to increase square footage to 4,250. There’s now a skylit central atrium with a bridge that spans the upper level and, stretching up 25 feet, an epic screen. It’s made of planks of reclaimed knotty pine that have been treated only with a light wash, not concealing natural irregularities. The screen’s outward face is carved into a relief abstracting a tree, the forms “exaggerating the play of light across them,” Darling explains. Behind the upper part of the screen is the office, there­fore benefiting from some privacy.


Esherick, a proponent of design that respects and reflects its site requirements, would be proud. Incidentally, Darling knew the late architect.


Project Team: Melinda Turner; Tim Gemmill; Khyber Courchesne.

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