September 27, 2021
Michael Hennessey Architecture firm has designed a three-unit residential building known as the ‘Twin peaks,’ built on a downslope lot, allowing for sweeping views of San Francisco, California, from each of the five floors at the rear of the building.
The front elevation is a composition of steel frames with aluminum windows and colored cement plaster infilling the steel framework. The amount of glazing increases at the upper levels as a response to less privacy required from the street below.
Sheer curtains and walnut-wood veneer at the interior spaces add layers of warmth and variation to an otherwise taught exterior. Vertical circulation through the building is a combination of a shared exterior stairway and private interior stairways within the units. One enters the building via a steel/wood gate at the entry garden, opening onto exterior perforated steel stairs.
The first two levels contain the lower unit, the third level contains the middle unit, and the fourth and fifth levels contain the upper unit.
The lower unit opens onto a minimal garden space of trees, gravel, and a concrete patio. The bedroom space looks down onto a double-height living room and kitchen.
The middle unit’s bedrooms at the front of the building incorporate strategically placed vertical windows to create a sense of privacy from the street below. The rear of the middle unit opens up to a deck with the living room space containing added ceiling height.
The upper unit is organized with a living, dining/kitchen space, a bedroom, and office on the fourth floor.
The fifth floor penthouse contains a master suite perched above the city below.
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