Launch Slideshow

laidley street residence, san francisco

architectural design detail / merit

laidley street residence, san francisco

architectural design detail / merit

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    Bruce Damonte

    The view from the lower level up through the top-floor skylight shows how the staircase distributes light throughout the house.

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    Bruce Damonte

    One-inch gaps beneath each riser enhance the effect of airiness and transparency.

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    Bruce Damonte

    Laidley House Architect: ZACK | de VITO architecture Location: San Francisco, California

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    Bruce Damonte

    Laidley House Architect: ZACK | de VITO architecture Location: San Francisco, California

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    Zack / de Vito Architecture

    The project's floor plans in section.

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    Zack / de Vito Architecture

    A conceptual drawing of the home's signature staircase.

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    Zack / de Vito Architecture

    A conceptual drawing of the staircase in detail.

zack / de vito architecture, san francisco

Lise de Vito and Jim Zack, AIA, lavished attention on the design of the skylight-topped staircase in their San Francisco townhouse. The result—a glowing transmitter of light, sound, and air—won praise from the judges. “I like the luminous quality,” said one.

The couple hand-sanded the staircase's clear acrylic treads and risers to achieve a translucent appearance. Waterjet-cut steel stringers hold these pieces together. A slim mahogany handrail adds warmth, and guardrails of glass and steel usher light into the heart of the house.

principal in charge / project designer: Lise de Vito, Zack / de Vito Architecture;
project architect: Jim Zack, AIA, Zack / de Vito Architecture;
general contractor: Jim Zack, AIA, Built Form Construction, San Francisco;
construction cost: $75 per square foot (staircase fabrication and installation only);
photography: Bruce Damonte