In San Francisco House Leidner Add Bridge


Local Studio Ryan Leidner Architecture has renovated a 1940s house in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, breaking access with a bridge over the front yard.

Ryan Leidner Architecture completed the 2,500-square-foot (230-square-meter) Hosono House in 2021 and clad the house with charcoal-stained cedar siding with a copper standing seam roof.

The original structure was built at the back of a steeply sloping plot of 2,750 square meters (255 square meters), “giving the house a unique sense of privacy and the feeling of being a real retreat,” the Studio said.

However, the setback challenged the circulation of the house, prompting people to cross the courtyard, descend a long staircase and climb three stairs to access the main living space.

During a first walking tour with customers, founding director Ryan Leidner launched a “crazy idea”: redirect access from the street to a new front door with a bridge.

The bridge would span the lush front yard and connect to the house between the upper and middle floors.

“The front entry sequence has been completely reinvented,” Leidner told Dezeen.

The Studio rebuilt the front facade – now characterized by a circular pivoting window replacing a leaking Solarium – emptied the interior and reorganized the spaces.

“To preserve the historical character of the house, the existing wooden beams and ceiling have been refurbished and exposed, while all the original windows, floors and finishes have been replaced, creating a greater sense of material continuity throughout the house,” said Leidner.

The subtle palette of natural wood tones and white finishes allows the interiors to serve as a canvas for the owners’ design affinity.

“The interiors are filled with a mix of vintage Italian furniture and custom pieces, while the overall sensibility of the space was inspired by trips to Norway and Japan and the philosophy of California hippie modernism,” noted Leidner.

The kitchen, living room and dining room on the top floor offer stunning views of the San Francisco skyline through different shapes of windows.

Plant niches referring to Italian projects of the 1960s and 1970s surround a piece of accent furniture, including a custom-made dining table by Nobu to Saga, vintage chairs by Guido Faleschini and an armchair by Age Aulete.

On the second floor there are two bedrooms, a master bathroom in Venetian plaster and a living room inspired by a Tokyo Screech bar, with warm white oak with wide boards and a custom velvet sofa bed.

A large opening in the living room leads to the lower courtyard, which has been redesigned by the landscape architect Stephen Design Studio.

The lowest level includes one of the most unique rooms in the house: the guest bedroom.

“A textured hemp plaster was used on the walls and ceiling, and a bed frame and custom-made tiled furniture recall the history of Italian modernism,” the Studio said.

Throughout the house, custom-made brass details – such as countertops, sinks and exhaust covers inspired by the Dieter-Rams CNC-add a luxurious touch that patinates over time.

Ryan Leidner Architecture had previously worked with Stephen Design Studio to remodel a mid-century Eichler house with double gables and a lush courtyard.

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