Bernal Heights Addition

After living in their two-story cottage for nearly ten years, this family of four had outgrown the space. Because they loved their neighbors and the neighborhood, moving wasn’t an option, but expanding was. The city’s special zoning for Bernal Heights is intended to preserve its small-scale character, so the renovation had to stay within the existing building footprint. The only solution for expansion was to build up and dig down to create a three-story home. At the lower level, excavation carved room for a guest suite, laundry, and stair. To prevent it from feeling like a basement, a light well was excavated behind the living space. This allowed for tall doors and windows that connect it to the outdoors and flood it with light. The second floor was edited for better flow and visual cohesion between it, the new levels, and backyard. At the third floor, tall dormers expanded the space to create room for a principal suite. Special features include a soaking tub, glass ceiling shower, strategically placed skylights, and a stair bridge from deck to yard.


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