The Bay Area has some of the world’s top residential architectural practices. (If there was any doubt, check out our list of the city’sTop Residential Architects). So it only makes sense then that the region would also be home to top-of-the-line interior designers to make those spaces into the perfect homes.
Recently, I re-walked every street in San Francisco’s Richmond District, the neighborhood I grew up in. Going through those streets, we picked the recently built and renovated homes with the best design and craftsmanship. With that, we present here the selection of our favorite homes, along with the architects who designed them and the contractors who made them. The designs are sorted by the different streets in the neighborhood. Stay tuned for updates!
Just immediately east of the Presidio, the Marina District is one of the best-known neighborhoods of San Francisco. Particularly, the district was the site of 1915 Panama–Pacific International Exposition that celebrated the city’s resilience and resurgence after the devastating 1906 earthquake. Today, the Palace of Fine Arts is found here, the sole survivor of that era. The district is also notable for being virtually unchanged since the homes were first constructed in the 1920s.
Found immediately southwest of the Presidio, Seacliff sits on the cliffs between Baker Beach and Lands End. As a relatively late addition to San Francisco, the entire neighborhood was originally designed in a single master plan and has stone pillars at its entrances. With stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands, some of the most well-known celebrities have lived in this northwestern neighborhood of the city.
Presidio Heights has some of the nicest homes in all of San Francisco. It sits immediately south of the Presidio. Nestled between the Presidio, Pacific Heights and shopping on Sacramento St and in Laurel Village there’s no wonder that these homes are some of the nicest in San Francisco. Many of these homes have bay views and are walking distance from Julius Khan park for children to play. We wanted to see homes in Presidio Heights that are newly designed and who is designing them.
It is no secret that San Francisco is becoming an ever more expensive city to live in. And while all major metropolitan areas struggle with how to provide affordable housing, this is an increasingly urgent task for the city of San Francisco, especially as people continue to flock to the coastal city. Designing affordable housing adds extra considerations and complications – such as restricted budgets and the necessity of proximity to transportation.
With a population growing as rapidly as that in San Francisco, building sufficient housing for the influx of residents is an important, but difficult, task. The crowded neighborhoods and natural geography of the city itself poses significant challenges. Add to that the need to consider how to design a building that matches the scale and architecture of its surrounding, adds to the urban community, contains sufficient amenities for its residents, and allows for future growth.
San Francisco has one of the country’s best food scenes. So it is only fitting that these restaurants have top-notch designs. Luckily, the city has a handful of architects who specialize in restaurant design, with portfolios of award-winning bars, lounges, and restaurants. In this list, you’ll find a little of everything: barbecue joints, exclusive wine tasting lounges, upscale French restaurants, and even what may be the most green cafe in the city.
California has long been at the forefront of sustainability and green practices. So it is of little surprise that California is home to more winners of the AIA Committee on the Environment (COTE) Top Ten Awards than any other state, nearly 3x as many. And a number of these architects are based in San Francisco. The city’s commitment to environmental responsibility makes it a key testing ground for the newest sustainable building and design practices. This list features ten of San Francisco’s top green architects.
When designing a new building or doing an extensive remodel, the typical process is to hire an architect, and later hire a general contractor to actually build what the architect has drawn up. However, there is a new model of construction that is becoming increasingly popular: design/build firms. Rather than using two separate companies, design/build firms let clients hire one company to take care of the entire project – from the beginning design stages through final construction.