July 16, 2020

Maydan Architects Swaps Mazelike Layout for Amazing Views in San Francisco House Remodel

A Quasar chandelier hangs over a Porro dining table; the dining chairs are by Poliform, who also fabricated the living area’s sofa and tables atop a FloorDesign rug. Photography by John Sutton Photography.

The only constant is change. Nowhere is this currently more evident than in San Francisco, home to the hyper-transforming Pacific Heights neighborhood and an aging beauty of a 1930s home whose owners hired Palo Alto-based Maydan Architects for a full remodel. Its 2,781 square feet was full of problems—and possibilities. “It was very compartmentalized,” says founder and principal Mary Maydan. “Getting to the kitchen from the front door was like going through a maze. As a result, the spectacular view of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge were only seen from very few points.”

A custom island of stained Red American walnut integrates Ligne Roset chairs beneath a Foscarini pendant; the cooktop beyond it is Miele, and the flooring Caesar Ceramics tile with window shades by J-Geiger. Photography by John Sutton Photography.

The team carved out a 900-square-foot communal space to integrate a kitchen, living room, and dining room—with views unimpeded by a four-panel glass wall, which can extend to keep cooking odors from traveling. Another challenge? Fashioning four separate bedroom suites in the remaining area, possible via multi-use spaces such as the library, which conceals a Murphy bed on one wall and a custom bookcase. “We had to create interest in an enclosed room with no daylight,” she says of the library, “and this show-stopper met the challenge.”

A bedroom in the back of the house offers a Poliform bed, with Artemide Dioscuri lamps atop Arlex storage units and window shades by J-Geiger. Photography by John Sutton Photography.

Maydan notes that nothing in the original structure was plum or flush, “which rendered the execution of precise, trimless, and minimalist details difficult.” Instead, the team embraced angles, via desks in the bedrooms and storage units in the bath and a geometric chandelier in the dining room that serves as a sharp contrast to a wall clad in dark ceramic slabs.

Custom Corian shelving line a wall of the library, with a Tonon Italia chair, Arlex table, and rug by FloorDesign. Photography by John Sutton Photography.
A sconce by Xal hangs on a wall clad in Specceramics tile in the master bathroom; the faucet is by Fantini and the sink custom. Photography by John Sutton Photography.
A bed by Living Divani rests before a wall created by Coral-Colours with Venetian plaster and concrete, with B&B Italia side tables and window shades by J-Geiger. Photography by John Sutton Photography. 

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