Influential Bay Area architect Stanley Saitowitz likens San Francisco’s Mission District to an acupressure point. One of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, it has grown into an “energy spot,” a cultural nexus and a vibrant center of food, art, and entertainment.
On a quiet residential block here, steps from the formal palm-lined boulevard of Dolores Street, is this one-of-a-kind San Francisco modern home designed by Saitowitz.
With its chalk-white concrete façade, expanses of glass, and abundant surfaces of natural stone and wood, it blends modernity and classicism and represents Saitowitz’s attempt to “capture and compress” his image of an iconic city better known for rolling hills dotted with candy-colored Victorians.
The floor plan of the striking 4,665-square-foot, five-bedroom residence is “about the continuity of spaces,” Saitowitz says, so that sight lines stretch all the way through the home, from street to the terraced hillside patios and manicured yard behind. The home offers “the maximum amount of flexible open space,” says Saitowitz, where “everything flows together.”
It begins with the one-bedroom ground-floor apartment, which has a private entrance and opens to a sunken terrace that connects with the alluring yard above. Its kitchen is exceptionally outfitted, with Boffi cabinetry and appliances from Miele.
A central light-way stairway illuminates the center of the home and connects the primary levels. On the second story are the living room, which boasts a 16-foot floating fireplace of custom-cut Italian Santa Catarina travertine, and a magnificent kitchen offering gray oak Boffi cabinetry with hidden wall systems and a 15-foot Boffi island with a quartz countertop.
Private quarters are secluded on the third floor. The master suite has wide-plank white oak floors, fully outfitted Porro wardrobes, and access to its own rear terrace. The accompanying travertine-clad spa bath features a Blu Bathworks rain shower, body jets, and a soaking tub.
Two light-filled guest bedrooms with a shared bath and a quiet office are located at the front of the residence.
The “cherry” of the home, says Saitowitz, is the top-floor “pentroom,” which includes a spacious closet and a full bath. Surfaces of disappearing Fleetwood glass give way to front and back rooftop terraces and reveal glorious views, blurring the line between the stylish interiors and the endless blue sky.
Saitowitz’s designs offer a certain “neutrality” so that “owners become architects in the way they furnish their home.” Nevertheless, a palette of warm colors has been provided, establishing an ideal backdrop for contemporary living at ease.