Modern House in Haight Ashbury

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In architecturally conservative San Francisco, this house built on a 20-foot-wide lot proves that modern design can fit—literally and figuratively—in any neighborhood.  Sitting above the tie-dye-dipped corner of Haight and Ashbury streets in San Francisco is Buena Vista Park, the city’s oldest and most beautiful hilltop recreation spot.  The houses that circle San Francisco's Buena Vista Park run the gamut from wedding-cake Victorian to Scandinavian modern. Architect Cass Calder Smith aimed to create a façade that contextually relates to the adjacent ornate ones yet is purely modern.

A long, narrow rectangle functions as a kitchen, dining, working, and general gathering area. Skylights set at a 90-degree angle to the workstation boost the dynamism in the room and cast a bright glow over the unit's walnut-and-steel seam.

A private raised patio in the small backyard further extends and expands the space into the outdoors.

Messiness is not allowed, but creative storage, like drawers that slide into the platform beneath the stair, makes organization easier.

It was a happy accident the way that the floating Fire Orb, which was designed by architect Doug Garofalo, echoes the onion-dome-inspired architecture beyond.

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