San Francisco, California

The house began its life in 1949 as a modest four-room row house on one of the steepest streets in San Francisco’s Noe Valley. Dramatically expanded with two new floor levels, the building is now home to an active family of five with ample space for guests, parties, and projects.

Design concept and solution: The original structure was retained and wrapped in a veil of cedar pickets at the street that do triple duty as garage door, privacy screen, and guardrail. The house was then stretched back into the slope of the hill to establish a podium of bedrooms and service areas. Above, an open floor of living space extends through glass walls to the garden and panoramic view. Suspended overhead like the hull of a ship (and the reason the house has been nicknamed “the Vessel”), a facetted cedar bedroom suite hangs between giant skylights that draw sunlight into the center of the home below.

The result of a tight collaboration between client and architect, the now 4,200-square-foot house has been a labor of love for the owners who served as the builders and obsessed over every detail.


Owner: Gerry Agosta & Lisa Moresco

Completion Date: September 2010

Gross square footage: 4,200 sq.ft.

Total construction cost: withheld at owner’s request

Kennerly Achitecture & Planning
375 Alabama Street
San Francisco, California

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Owen Kennerly, AIA

Engineer(s): Santos & Urrutia Structural Engineers

General contractor: Gerry Agosta, Buena Vista Builders

Photographer(s): Matthew Millman Photography

CAD system, project management, or other software used: Autocad



Structural system
Type-V non-rated construction:  Wood Framing with structural steel moment-resisting frames and beams.

Exterior cladding
Masonry: Connecticut Blue Stone

Metal/glass curtainwall: Vista-Wall aluminum & glass doors, Ventana aluminum windows supplied and installed by Supreme Glass

Wood: Western Red Cedar

Metal: Brendan Bannon, Fabricator

Aluminum: curtainwall: Ventana Aluminum Manufacturing: windows supplied, fabricated and installed by Supreme Glass

Skylights: Royalite

Entrances: Beronio

Metal doors: Vista-wall

Wood doors: Beronio

Locksets: Valle & Valle

Cabinet hardware: Blum and Hafele

Interior finishes
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: J.W. Sellars Furniture

Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore

Downlights: Tech Lighting

Task lighting: Tech Lighting

Exterior: Intense Lighting

Controls: Lutron

Hans Grohe bathroom fixtures