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Potrero Hill Residence

Serrao Design | Architecture

Project Name

Potrero Hill Residence

Project Status



550 sq. feet


  • General Contractor: Paul Badger
  • John Todd

Room or Space




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Project Description

2005 RADA
Kitchen / Grand Award

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.”
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