Location: Nob Hill, San Francisco, California

Project size: 6,300 square feet

Site size: 1,840 square feet

Program: The client commissioned the architect to build a two-unit building—to be used by one owner—that maximizes the space and views of a small vacant lot in an older San Francisco neighborhood. The new building was designed to be distinctive, yet to also harmonize with the surrounding residential area.

Solution: The three-story urban house sits at the corner of two streets sloping downhill from Grace Cathedral and Huntington Park. The basement has a garage, connection to the elevator, stairs, and utility rooms. The first floor is a separate living level for either guests or extended family members. The main unit is composed of the second and third levels; the second floor has three bedrooms and three baths, while the third floor has the main living, dining, and kitchen areas with views of the Transamerica Pyramid and San Francisco Bay. The entire roof is a deck that has views of Nob Hill, Coit Tower, the Bay Bridge, and San Francisco’s downtown.

Construction and materials: The building has a mat slab foundation, steel frames, wood frame infill, and steel windows set in Limestone cladding; the same stone was repeated inside the baths. White oak wood floors and traditional baseboards were used throughout.


Additional Information

Total project cost: withheld

Owner: withheld



Erica Severns Architecture, 16125 Pasquale Rd., Nevada City, CA 95959, 415-533-5330


Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:

Erica Severns, Architect


Architect of record:

Erica Severns



Monte Stott (structural);

Benjamin Lai (underpinning)



Eric Mori, Charles M. Salter Associates (acoustical);

Brian Neumann, Sloat Arnold Architects LLP (building envelope)


General contractor:

Paul McKenna, Cal-CADE Construction



Kat Alves, 415-265-9446



Structural System

Steel frame with wood frame infill

Exterior Cladding

Masonry: lue Gasgone Limestone - Michael SoBusa - Haussmann's Natural Stone


Special hardware: Laura Folger - Folger and Burt Hardware

Interior Finishes

Demountable partitions:

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Anthony Adreveno

Floor and wall tile: Blue Gasgone Limestone - Haussmann's Natural Stone