The Best Residential Architects in San Francisco

The fabric of the City is in a constant state of flux; changing preferences and tastes influence how we live, work and play and place new demands on the buildings and open spaces that define the City. The resulting eclectic mix of modern, cutting edge designs and classic Victorian architecture define the essence of the storied “City by the Bay”.

The natural landscape of San Francisco, with its rolling hills and surrounding water, provide a defined and limited canvas for innovative and creative architects. While steep sites offer dramatic views of the city, mountains, and ocean, they also create a test of technical abilities for an architect. With very few opportunities for new builds in San Francisco, architects are called upon to creatively renovate classic, often narrow residences to adapt to current preferences. Further adding to the unique challenges and opportunities, the Bay Area has focused on sustainability and green design, in many cases long before the rest of the country started to pay attention to these issues.

As new and significant wealth has flowed into the city from technology and entrepreneurial companies the pace of new building has accelerated in recent years. This new market of buyers who can afford to use the latest and best building practices, materials, and architects is changing the skyline and hillsides of San Francisco once again.

We looked at over 2,000 Architects in San Francisco and picked the 15 best residential architects in San Francisco.

The Top 15 Residential Architects

15) Terry&Terry Architecture

Website | (510) 525-0504| Featured Principals: Alexander Terry and Ivan Terry

Terry&Terry Architecture has over 40 years of combined architectural experience around the Bay Area. Their innovative home designs incorporate the newest practices in architectural design and theory and have been recognized with many Spark Design Awards and awards from local AIA chapters.

San Francisco Custom Home Architecture

Alexander and Ivan Terry are the founding principals of Terry&Terry Architecture. Before launching their own architecture practice, the partners gained valuable experience in construction and fabrication. This gives them a unique and useful perspective that they bring to their design work. They are also committed to advancing the future of design and infrastructure. They engage in research on how the built environment and urban design can respond to and direct changing conditions. Both Alexander and Ivan Terry received their Bachelors and Masters in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley.

Featured Projects

Terry&Terry Architecture has designed unique houses and condos across the Bay Area. For example, their ‘Diamond Project’, a 2-story house in Noe Valley, incorporates a secluded rooftop garden with a detached studio/guesthouse. This design won many awards, including an AIA National Housing Award, Residential Architect Design Awards Merit Award, and a Merit Award from AIA California Council.

14) BRU Architects

Website | (415) 861-4848| Featured Principal: Bernardo Urquieta

Chilean-born architect Bernardo Urquieta has renovated homes in the San Francisco area for over 30 years. He has been trusted to transform some of the city’s 100-year-old homes with traditional architecture into modern dwellings, while still respecting each site’s historical significance. Urquieta’s designs express the unique quality of each site’s history, culture, and landscape. He plays with light and space in a delicate manner to create serene and playful homes.

San Francisco Home Remodel Architecture

Chilean-born architect Bernardo Urquieta has been a principal at BRU Architects since 1995. Although this is a full-service practice, BRU Architects has made it a point to remain small enough so that its principals can be directly involved in every stage of the design process on all projects. The practice has built everything from intimate private residences to multi-million dollar civic and educational developments. Although focused on the San Francisco Bay Area, Urquieta has designed projects around the world. Urquieta is committed to incorporating green design elements seamlessly into his contemporary and elegant homes. Before starting BRU Architects, he spent 12 years working as a project designer and consultant for various architecture firms. Urquieta earned his masters in architecture and urban design at Universidad de Chile.

Featured Projects

BRU Architects expanded and renovated this traditional 1900 Edwardian residence in Corona Heights into a modern home with over 2000 square feet while incorporating many period details into its interior design. Equally impressive and on a much larger scale, Urquieta recently renovated an 11,000 square foot building on Francisco Street in Russian Hill. Urquieta’s design returned the structure to a single-family residence and restored the classical symmetrical design of the interior on the lower floors, and opened up the top floors for open living and to take advantage of natural light.

13) KUTH | RANIERI Architects

Website | (415) 544-9880| Featured Principals: Byron Kuth and Elizabeth Ranieri

KUTH | RANIERI Architects of San Francisco has earned a national reputation for building innovative homes that integrate contemporary design principals. Founding principals Byron Kuth and Elizabeth Ranieri have both been recognized as Fellows by the American Institute of Architects. They are at the forefront of sustainable practices and green design and have received many awards from the AIA.

San Francisco Home Remodel Architecture

Byron Kuth, Managing Principal, and Elizabeth Ranieri, Design Principal, founded KUTH | RANIERI Architects in 1990. They are leaders in the field of green design and sustainable building practices. Both are LEED AP certified and in 2003 launched the Deep Green Design Alliance, a multidisciplinary architecture and urban design think tank focused on sustainable strategies. As a firm, they are committed to research and development on new materials, water conservation and treatment, and ways to handle and adapt to rising sea levels. Kuth received the 2004 AIA ExRes award for a sustainable artists’ retreat and a 2005 AIA Best of Bay award in Urban Design for an environmentally friendly design proposal for Martyrs’ Square in Beirut, Lebanon. His work was also featured in the 2004 AIA traveling exhibit on the future of sustainable architecture.

Kuth and Ranieri have taught at the California College of the Arts, the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and as Friedman Professors for the Masters of Architecture program at the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley. Ranieri is currently an Industry Partner for a Masters of Mechanical Engineering Capstone Project at UC Berkeley’s Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership. And she recently served as a Presidential Nominee (2012-2016) on the MIT Corporation Visiting Committee for the Department of Architecture. Kuth and Ranieri earned degrees in Architecture and Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Featured Projects

KUTH | RANIERI Architects were awarded an Honor Award for Excellence in Single-Family Residential Design from the AIA, California State Council for their 2001 design of a Nob Hill Residence. This 3-story building with a rooftop patio incorporates clean, geometric patterns and captures an abundance of natural light. The sustainable design of this building was also recognized with a Design Distinction—Environments Category from I.D. Magazine Annual Design Review. And their renovation of a penthouse in a 1960’s Russian Hill tower won them a Merit Award in Interior Architecture from the AIA, San Francisco. KUTH | RANIERI Architects were also recognized with an AIA San Francisco Best of the Bay: Excellence in Interior Architecture Merit Award for their renovation of a classic 1960’s house designed by famed San Francisco architect William Wurster.

12) Paulett Taggart Architects

Website | (415) 956-1116| Featured Principal: Paulett Taggart

Paulett Taggart has been one of San Francisco’s top architects and home designers for more than 3 decades. Her work has received many local and national awards, including the Kirby Ward Fitzpatrick Prize, and she has been recognized as a Fellow by the AIA.

San Francisco Home Remodel Architecture

Paulett Taggart founded the top San Francisco design firm Paulett Taggart Architects in 1986, which she now runs with fellow architect Eric Robinson. Her designs focus on creating spaces that speak not only to those who live and work and them, but which take into account the surrounding community and public space. She is also deeply committed to incorporating energy efficiency and sustainability into her designs. In addition to running her design firm, Taggart has taught at the University of California, Berkeley and the California College of the Arts. She is involved in her community, having been a member of LINE (the journal of the American Institute of Architects San Francisco), the AIASF/SFMOMA Lecture Committee, the San Francisco School District’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee, and the Board of Trustees of the Universalist Church of San Francisco. Paulett received her Bachelors from the University of Oregon and her Masters in Architecture from Harvard University.

Featured Projects

Taggart has designed residential buildings around the Bay Area. Her design of the Taggart/Stout residence won the AIA San Francisco, Best of the Bay Honor Award for Design Excellence in 1995. She also renovated a Telegraph Hill row house, including adding an impressive rooftop addition, which was featured in the 2013 AIA San Francisco Home Tour. In addition to her excellent home designs, Taggart has been recognized for her commercial and civic projects. Her design for La Cucina, a mixed-use project in the Mission District, was awarded the Kirby Ward Fitzpatrick Prize from the Architectural Foundation of San Francisco. This annual award recognizes the best new building by a small firm in the city. She also collaborated with Maytum, Leedy, and Stacy, who are featured in the commercial section, on the Plaza Apartments at Sixth and Howard streets.

11) NOVA Designs + Builds   

Website | (415) 626-8868| Featured Principals: Fabien Lannoye and John Schrader

Nova Designs + Builds is responsible for some of the most elegant home renovations in San Francisco. The firm is responsible for what is currently the most expensive house on the market in the city, a stunning 4-story Pacific Heights home listed at $22 million.

San Francisco Home Remodel ArchitectureJohn Schrader, a licensed general contractor and certified green builder, founded Nova Designs + Builds in 1990. He was joined by Belgium architect Fabien Lannoye in 1999, who helped make Nova a top architectural practice. Nova has completed more than 1000 projects in San Francisco. Schrader has always worked in the creative fields. After studying music composition and classical studies at West Valley College and San Jose State University, he pursued a career as a composer, professional musician and art-oriented entrepreneur. Along the way, Schrader worked on conservation and renovation projects with artists in Soho and Brooklyn and eventually began renovating properties with friends. His unique experiences are reflected in his ability to manipulate the visual and built environment with light, color, and spatial planning. Lannoye became a licensed architect in Belgium in 1990. At this time he founded his own private architectural firm, LYS, designing everything from residences and restaurants to offices and industrial spaces. Lannoye was also among the elite group of architects chosen to design renovations for the European Community’s headquarters in Brussels. In 1996 Lannoye moved to San Francisco and worked for various firms including Hertzka & Knowles, Loving and Campos, and Barrett & Quesada before joining Nova. Lannoye received his master’s degree in architecture from the renowned Institut St. Luc in Belgium.

Featured Projects

The practice recently redesigned what is (currently) the most expensive home for sale in the city at 2476 Broadway. This four-story Pacific Heights home hit the market at $22 million. Nova also received broad praise for its renovation of a 4,600 square foot townhouse from 1938 in Pacific Heights. Previously a duplex, Nova had the challenge of returning this building to a single-family residence, while taking advantage of the direct views of Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. The final design features spacious, open living and a studio apartment/in-law suite. Nova also renovated a historic 1885 Victorian home at 2807 Clay Street. The design added a third story and features a magnificent rooftop deck and a top floor that opens onto a large private garden.

10) House + House Architects

Website | (415) 474-2112 | Featured Principals: Steven and Cathi House

In 1989, House + House was named by Architecture Magazine as an emerging talent to keep an eye out for. They weren’t wrong. This duo focused on designing creative, sustainable and modern homes in the Bay Area, have risen to the top of the city’s architectural scene. They have won over 50 awards and their work has been featured in national and international publications.

San Francisco Home  Architecture

The principals and founders, Steven and Cathi House, cite their vast travel experiences as inspiration for their work, having traveled and worked in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. As a result, they have a keen ability to incorporate traditional elements into nuanced, contemporary designs. They are also known for designing homes with a strong connection to nature and the outdoors. Both principals are committed to sustainability and incorporate green design elements throughout each home and landscape. Outside of their practice, Cathi and Steven House are dedicated to educating and contributing to the development of architectural theory and practice. They have lectured across the United States and Mexico and both served on the Dean’s Advisory Board and the Advisory Council for the School of Architecture + Design at Virginia Tech. Additionally, they established The Center for Architecture, Sustainability + Art (CASA), a study abroad program in the UNESCO World Heritage Site San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Featured Projects

House + House Architects are known for working with clean lines and open vistas and have successfully remodeled many historic San Francisco homes into modern classics. Their addition and renovation of a 100-year-old cottage in San Francisco’s Marina district was awarded a Custom Home Design Award and Renaissance Design Award. This 3-story home was opened up to capture the natural light and features a clean, minimalist design. In Oakland, the practice designed a stunning single-family home that creatively incorporates natural wood, copper, and concrete to create a contemporary design that still respects, the history and traditional style of the neighborhood. This design was recognized with the Builder’s Choice Design Award, Best in American Living Award, ASID Design Excellence award, and AIA East Bay Design Award.

9) OPA

Website | (415) 861-4848| Featured Principals: Luke Orgrydziak and Zoe Prillinger

OPA is considered one of the nation’s most influential architectural practices. Their work has been featured in international publications, including the New York Times, and won recognition with numerous awards from the American Institute of Architects San Francisco and California chapters. OPA’s residences around the city demonstrate their ability to carefully integrate each client’s unique needs into design

San Francisco Home Architecture

Luke Ogrydziak and Zoë Prillinger founded Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects in 2004. This young practice was recently recognized by the Architectural League of New York’s ‘Emerging Voices’ award, in honor of their potential to influence the discipline. And although the firm is just over a decade old, it has been featured in prestigious international publications, including The New York Times, Metropolis, and Architectural Record. The practice focuses on idea-driven design and builds unique residences for each client that respond to their environment. Prior to founding Ogrydziak Prillinger Architects, Prillinger gained architectural experience in Melbourne, Paris, New York City, and San Francisco. Ogrydziak and Prillinger received their Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and Masters in Architecture from Princeton University. At Princeton, Ogrydziak received the Shellman Award for architectural representation. They have both taught at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Featured Projects

OPA’s ‘Gallery House’ incorporated a semi-public art gallery and a home for two prominent contemporary art collectors. The different environments of each room were designed specifically for the art pieces, and the home includes a rooftop sculpture garden. This project was recognized with the 2011 Architecture Honor Award from AIA San Francisco, and the 2010 Architecture Merit Award from the AIA California Council.

8) John Maniscalco Architecture

Website | (415) 864-9900| Featured Principal: John Maniscalco

John Maniscalco Architecture has designed beautiful and innovative residences in nearly every neighborhood of San Francisco. Founded by John Maniscalco, the firm creates livable spaces using modern design techniques and is known for engaging clients directly in the design process.

San Francisco Home Architecture

Maniscalco has over 26 years of experience in the architectural field. Prior to founding John Maniscalco Architecture in 2000, Maniscalco worked as a Project Designer in the offices of Gensler, Chong Partners, ROMA Design Group, and Ellerbe Becket. Maniscalco, an AIA member, earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University, where he won both the Seipp Prize and the York Prize for Design.

Featured Projects

Maniscalco’s designs for custom homes around the Bay Area have received many awards and been spotlighted in national magazines. His so-called Butterfly House was featured as the cover story of the Winter issue of Modern Luxury Interiors California and in the San Francisco Chronicle. John Maniscalco Architecture’s remodel of a Broadway residence was awarded the AIA San Francisco’s Constructed Realities Architectural Merit Award for design. And his design for a Taylor Street Residence was so impressive, it was featured as the cover story of the inaugural issue of San Francisco Cottages and Gardens. Although Maniscalco specializes in designing custom homes, he has also completed many commercial, academic, civic and transportation projects, and is well known for his winery designs.

7) Geddes Ulinskas Architects

Website | (415) 904-0483| Featured Principal: Geddes Ulinskas

Geddes Ulinskas operates one of San Francisco’s top design firms, Geddes Ulinskas Architects. With over two decades of architectural experience, Ulinskas is trusted by the city’s most elite clients to renovate homes and create beautiful and uniquely functional custom spaces.

San Francisco Home Architecture

Geddes Ulinskas has over two decades of architectural experience. His focus is on residential homes and community buildings, such as churches and pre-schools. Prior to starting his own firm in 2005, Ulinskas worked with many other top design firms in the region. His firm, Geddes Ulinskas Architects, is known for placing a strong emphasis on materials and detail. The practice actively collaborates with clients, contractors, construction managers, and other consultants throughout the design process for each project. These strong partnerships allow the firm to create unique, site-specific homes. Geddes Ulinskas Architects has made an effort to remain a small and intimate team of architects and designers. The team is comprised of just 5 people, which allows Ulinskas to be directly involved in each project. Ulinskas earned a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Pratt Institute.

Featured Projects

Geddes Ulinskas Architects has completed custom home designs in San Francisco’s most exclusive neighborhoods. The firm recently completed a 5,300 square foot renovation of a 59th-floor penthouse in San Francisco’s Millennium Tower. Ulinskas transformed this empty concrete shell unit into a custom home for a musician and art collector. Ulinskas also renovated a 14,000 square foot Victorian home in Pacific Heights with modern elements that were sensitive to the urban environmental and neighborhood aesthetics. His approach for interior design focused on clean lines and space to display his client’s extensive art collection. Geddes Ulinskas Architects is currently engaged to design and construct a new home at 2582 Filbert Street, a new custom residence being built on one of the largest open lots left in San Francisco.

6) Mark English Architects

Website | (415) 391-0186| Featured Principal: Mark English

Mark English runs a premier architectural practice focused on creating modern designs in an urban environment. He is a leader in the San Francisco architecture community, serving as the director of the AIA San Francisco chapter and acting as editor for two respected online architecture magazines. English is a leader in sustainable building. His designs have won numerous awards and been featured in national publications.

San Francisco Home Architecture

Mark English founded Mark English Architects in 1992, a full-service design firm focused on urban residential and entertainment building, with at least half of its work in San Francisco. The practice is based in North Beach out of the former studio of sculptors Robert Howard and Adaline Kent from the 1940’s. It is known for its beautiful modern architecture and its designs have been featured in many books and national publications. English is a leader in sustainable design and expert on California state energy policy and Green Code compliance. English is committed to giving back to the local architecture community. He is the director of the AIA San Francisco chapter and involved with his local AIA’s Small Business Committee. He is also the editor of two prominent online magazines, The Architects’ Take and Green Compliance Plus. The later is focused on case studies and advice in residential energy compliance. Prior to starting his own practice, English worked at Ricardo Bertoni in Florence, Italy, and House + House Architects in San Francisco. He earned his bachelor degree in architecture from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, and a master of architecture degree at Syracuse University in Florence.

Featured Projects

English’s design for a new home in Buena Vista, a rare opportunity in San Francisco, won the 2006 AIA San Francisco award for Small Firms, Great Projects (an award he also won for a 2005 residence in Novato). It was also featured in the design book The Atlas of Living Decor. English was also trusted by local San Francisco interior designer Geoffrey De Sousato renovate his home in Clarendon Heights. Set on top of one of the city’s highest hills, English took advantage of the views and natural light by opening up the home, and in the process, nearly doubled the square footage. Finally, English also renovated an apartment in a semi-circular apartment tower near Aquatic Park. This 1960’s apartment has not been touched prior to English’s team going in. The finished product included custom built furniture and a strategic floor plan to incorporate the building’s rounded structure.  

5) Feldman Architecture

Website | (415) 252-1441| Featured Principal: Jonathan Feldman

Jonathan Feldman is an award-winning architect behind some of the city’s most beautiful and environmentally responsible new residential and commercial properties. His firm set a new standard for contemporary and sustainable design in the Bay Area, and he is responsible for at least 7 LEED Platinum buildings.

San Francisco Home Architecture

Jonathan Feldman founded Feldman Architecture in 2003, which quickly grew to be one of San Francisco’s premier design studios. Feldman began his architectural career by renovating old Victorians. This work gave him valuable experience in learning how to incorporate contemporary designs alongside traditional San Francisco styles. Feldman is dedicated to sustainable design and is LEED accredited. He has completed or has in the works at least 7 LEED Platinum buildings. A member of the American Institute of Architects, Feldman has served on competition juries including the AIA Monterey Bay Design Awards and Remodeling Magazine Design Awards. Feldman’s designs have been recognized with many awards, including Best of the Year by Interior Design, the Citation Award by American Institute of Architects Monterey Bay, and an Honor Award from International Interior Design Association.

Featured Projects

Feldman is a leader in building sustainable and energy efficient homes in the Bay Area. One such project was the renovation of an 1889 workingman’s cottage in Noe Valley into a spacious family home. Feldman changed this modest row house, which had never been extensively renovated, into a comfortable and contemporary dwelling. His complete gut rehab more than doubled the square footage. Feldman added state-of-the-art sustainable technologies into the design of the home, which was certified LEED Platinum. His renovation of a home on Telegraph Hill was recognized with the Grand Award for Renovation at the 2014 Custom Home Design Awards. The original design of this home was marked by narrow hallways, awkward stairways, and too many walls. Feldman completely re-designed the floorplan and added extensive windows and skylights to open up the home to stunning views. He also reinvented the street façade to match the impressive new interior.

4) Craig Steely Architecture

Website | (415) 864-7013| Featured Principal: Craig Steely

Craig Steely has worked in the San Francisco residential architectural scene since the mid-1990’s. Beginning as an architect for the arts community, Steely has become sought after by clients all across the Bay Area for his classic modernist approach in custom home designs and renovation. He has made a special effort to keep his practice small, meaning he can work directly with every client to deliver a creative and unique home.

San Francisco Home Architecture

Craig Steely is the founder and principal at Craig Steely Architecture in San Francisco. Focused on custom homes and renovations, Steely has ensured his practice remains small enough for him to be intimately involved in every project. Steely’s unique design process comes in part from his period studying and working with architects in Florence, Italy and places a large emphasis on art and creativity. The firm is known for its classic modernist approach and building with clean lines. Steely has completed many projects in Hawaii, and his work in San Francisco evidences an influence of nature and materials common to the islands. Nonetheless, Steely’s designs are creatively sensitive to San Francisco’s traditional styles, enabling him to restore historic properties around the city. Under his direction, Craig Steely Architecture was chosen top firm in the 2013 Residential Architect Magazine leadership awards. Steely’s work has been published widely in books and magazines and recognized with awards from the American Institute of Architects. The AIA California recognized him as an “Emerging Talent” in 1999.  Steely earned a degree in architecture from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo.

Featured Projects

Steely has designed and renovated real estate in some of San Francisco’s top neighborhoods and his portfolio includes single family homes, penthouse renovations, and townhouses. He recently completed a clever 4-story home with a rooftop pavilion on a steep site above Dolores Park. This building, which he calls ‘Peter’s House’ demonstrates the influence Steely’s time in Hawaii has on his work. The home has 2 stories of frameless glass walls and a system of moveable louvers to adjust privacy as desired. Of course, the louvers are built from reclaimed lumber Steely sourced from the San Francisco Presidio. And his complete renovation of a townhouse on Beaver Street shows his ability to successfully incorporate a modern design into one of San Francisco’s classic Victorian neighborhoods. Steely also has experience with commercial and multi-family units, including a 6-story residential tower out of The Cordage Warehouse in San Francisco’s Jackson Square.

3) Walker Warner Architects

Website | (415) 381-8903| Featured Principal: Greg Warner and Brooks Walker

Greg Warner and Brooks Walker operate the award-winning San Francisco architectural practice Walker Warner Architects. For over 30 years, Walker Warner has taken a forward-thinking approach to residential design. Each project demonstrates their versatility and ability to adapt to the unique needs of each client and space.  

San Francisco Home Architecture

Greg Warner and Brooks Walker founded Walker Warner Architects in 1989. The 25-person firm has now completed more than 200 projects in California, Hawaii and the Western United States. Walker Warner Architects specializes in custom residential architecture and is known for designing homes that are uniquely appropriate to each site and client. The influence of Warner’s youth growing up on the Hawaiian Islands is evident in the impact climate and nature have on his designs. He is particularly focused on creating contextually appropriate designs that consider the unique environment of each project. This approach combines perfectly with Walker’s, who as a San Francisco native grew up exploring how famed architects William Wurster, Joseph Esherick, and Frank Lloyd Wright designed buildings to match the city’s unique features. Prior to founding their own practice, Warner worked on commercial and residential projects in the Bay Area with several firms, while Walker gained experience as a sole practitioner, including work in construction, real estate development, and landscape architecture. Both Walker and Warner earned their Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon, and are LEED AP certified.

Featured Projects

Given Walker Warner’s expertise, they were trusted with the renovation of a classic 1951 William Wurster home in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood. They were challenged with preserving the historical character and mid-century modern aesthetic of the Wurster design while creating a modern, livable interior. The practice was also tasked with updating the building to be energy efficient and integrating sustainable design elements. The stunning outcome was featured in Architectural Digest and in the 2008 AIA San Francisco Living Home Tours. The firm is also working with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his home in Palo Alto.

2) Butler Armsden

Website | (415) 674-5554| Featured Principal: Lewis Butler

Lewis Butler’s diverse talents in home design can be seen across the Bay Area, where he has worked for over 30 years. His practice, Butler Armsden, remodeled at least one home for Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and is extensively renovating a Mission District home owned by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Home Remodel Design by Butler Armsden
San Francisco Home Architecture

Lewis Butler is the president of Butler Armsden, a San Francisco architectural practice he co-founded in 1985 with his wife, Catherine Armsden. Their firm specializes in new builds and renovations in the Bay Area. Butler is known within the City’s architecture scene for his involvement in all stages of home design and construction. He works directly with clients, city officials and, importantly, neighbors of the project to ensure each project’s designs will be approved. Butler is a member of the AIA. He earned his Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from Stanford University and a Masters of Architecture at Harvard University.

Featured Projects

Butler has a diverse portfolio of innovative, high-quality designs. He had the opportunity to renovate a Pacific Heights home originally designed by famed San Francisco architect William Wurster in 1939. Butler incorporated natural materials and modern elements into the new design to compliment the owner’s extensive art collection. Nearby at 2840 Broadway, Butler was hired by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison to renovate an original Willis Polk-designed house. In another Pacific Heights project, Butler renovated a home with a clean modern style. The entire first floor back wall became glass doors which open onto a large garden and patio, and the redesign features three large balconies with views over the city. Butler also tackled a renovation on a Cow Hollow Townhouse that had so many piecemeal renovations over the past 100 years that it no longer had a discernible architectural style. In addition to a complete interior renovation, he redid the home’s exterior with a classical facade to match the street’s historical style. Finally, Butler Armsden was hired by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for extensive renovations at 3450 21st Street on historic Liberty Hill by Dolores Park.

1) Andrew Skurman Architects

Website | (415) 440-4480 | Featured Principal: Andrew Skurman

San Francisco-based Andrew Skurman Architects is responsible for some of the Bay Area’s most sophisticated and beautiful custom homes. The practice has been trusted by some of the city’s most elite residents, including Tech mogul David Sacks, to create stunning homes. They were named the number 1 firm in the US and 3rd in the world by the Institute of Traditional Architecture.

San Francisco Home Architecture

Andrew Skurman is the founder and principal at Andrew Skurman Architects. His practice specializes in designs reflecting the classical architectural traditions of French chateaux, Mediterranean villas, and Georgian country houses. The practice carefully adapts these historical styles into homes for today’s world. The Institute of Traditional Architecture named Andrew Skurman Architects the number 1 practice in the US and 3rd in the world. Skurman’s designs have been featured in national publications, including Architectural Digest, House & Garden, Southern Accents, The New York Times Magazine, California Homes, and This Old House. For his contribution to the field of architecture, Skurman has been named a Chevalier of Arts & Letters by the Minister of Culture of France and is the recipient of five Julia Morgan Awards. He previously served as President of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, Northern California, and is on its Board of Directors nationally. Prior to founding his own practice in 1992, Skurman worked at the New York firm of I.M. Pei & Partners, the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and as a Studio Director at Gensler and Associates in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. Skurman received his Bachelor of Architecture in 1976 from Cooper Union in New York City.

Featured Projects

Andrew Skurman Architects have designed some of the most sophisticated and classic homes in the Bay Area. The firm’s high-class renovation of a Pacific Heights residence won a Julia Morgan Award for the Best Apartment Renovation and was featured in Architectural Digest 2012. This project provided the opportunity to work in a 1924 luxury apartment complex designed by premier San Francisco architect Conrad Alfred Meussdorffer. The finished design of the nearly gut-rehab features an oval entrance hall with a rounded dome and Doric columns in the living room. The firm also won the Julia Morgan Award for Best Residential Renovation and/or Addition – over 5,000 square feet for their renovation of a duplex penthouse in San Francisco, built in the 1920’s. This Georgian-style home features an understated, elegant design with influences from ancient Rome and early 18th century Paris. Lastly, Tech mogul David Sacks hired Andrew Skurman Architects to renovate the $20 million Pacific Heights home he purchased in 2012. This home, at 2845 Broadway, was unfinished, meaning Skurman had to create a cohesive and extensive design for the large space.

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