Completed in 2002, this new home in San Francisco is conceived as a series of interlocking forms, stepping up the hill and out of the earth to become a transparent glass form bound by the planar structure. This linear language informs the details throughout, appearing in the plan, elevations and custom furniture design. The street level entry opens to a sculpture court where an open, steel and concrete stairway leads to a terrace and the formal front door. All three living levels enjoy panoramic views of the city from the front and the serenity of a Japanese-inspired garden to the rear.

[Levy Art + Architecture] took on the challenges of a steep site and steep aspirations by homeowners inspired both by having once lived in an R.M. Schindler home and by their longtime friendship with New York set designer Tom John. “First,” said Ross Levy, “we had to distill one vision from these many visions.” The result mixes a view of the city through the glassed front of the house with a look through the glassed back at Japan, with a teahouse and garden perched atop the multi-level yard, and connects indoors to out with doors from the master suite to the garden and exhilarating terraces on each level of the front of the house, making the house feel much bigger than its 2,500 square feet.

Susan Fornoff in “Design Magicians”

Publications: • California Home + Design, September 2006, pp. 150-155: “Balancing Act” by Lydia Lee. • San Francisco Chronicle, September 14, 2005, pp. G1,G4: “Design Magicians” by Susan Fornoff. • AIA San Francisco Home Tours 2005.

In collaboration with Tom John, Interiors. Ken Gutmaker, Photography.

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