Launch Slideshow

potrero hill residence, san francisco

potrero hill residence, san francisco

  • 2005 Kitchen/Grand: Potrero Hill Residence, San Francisco, Calif., Serrao Design | Architecture, San Francisco, Calif.

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    John Todd

    Floors and raised counter are bamboo, and the cabinetry is made of verticalgrain white fir veneer from a certified source and a low-formaldehyde MDF substrate.

  • 2005 Kitchen/Grand: Potrero Hill Residence, San Francisco, Calif., Serrao Design | Architecture, San Francisco, Calif.

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    John Todd

    Interior specs were guided by the clients’ green leanings.

  • 2005 Kitchen/Grand: Potrero Hill Residence, San Francisco, Calif., Serrao Design | Architecture, San Francisco, Calif.

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    John Todd

    The 24-inch-wide refrigerator is a high-efficiency European model with a freezer on the bottom.

serrao design | architecture, san francisco

A strong concept and refined detailing bring unity to this second-floor living space. The owners, a photographer and his wife, asked Jay Serrao, AIA, to create a lively kitchen, dining area, and living room that would flex for entertaining. Serrao made the most of the compact space by stretching the wall cabinets between the kitchen and living room. Their spicy tones and color-block composition were inspired by the couple's love of Modernism and the Hispanic art they collected on a trip to Mexico and Central America.

The architect used clever devices to merge function and flexibility. A flip-up counter supported by a custom stainless steel hinged bracket offers the options of additional counter space or movement between the kitchen and living room. The island's raised counter separates the cooking and living areas while creating an edge for conversation when the couple entertains.

Serrao's efficient redesign was driven by a sense of material stewardship. Floors, flip-up counter, and raised bar are made of bamboo plywood. “What we loved about it was that you see all the layers of the plywood,” Serrao says. The judges praised the project's consistent detailing. “There's a high degree of complexity without throwing it in your face,” a judge said. “It's brilliant in its simplicity.”

principal in charge / project architect: Jay Serrao, AIA, Serrao Design | Architecture
general contractor: Paul Badger, Cracker Jack Arts, San Rafael, Calif.
project size: 550 square feet remodeled
construction cost: Withheld
photographer: John Todd Photography