farrell architecture
 
 

Work ethic and attitude. If I had to boil it down to our core skills, these two would rank highly. It’s hard to put a handle on the professional skills expected from a small architecture firm, even harder to grasp onto a few of those skills and say “that’s what we’re good at.” Experience tells me that a positive attitude and rolled up sleeves gets you an awesome project every time. Our number one goal is to leave you feeling like you had a great experience.

 
 
 

Hygge in the Fog

The oversized sliding skylight makes this an al fresco kitchen

The oversized sliding skylight makes this an al fresco kitchen

 

A DANISH INSPIRED CALIFORNIA KITCHEN

I shared a common experience with these clients: we both spent time living in Copenhagen. As you would expect, we came away from our experiences with a deep appreciation of Danish culture and sensibility. Their house in San Francisco, in contrast, had that annoying center court that was good for natural light, but not much else. We took the Danish aesthetic, our fabulous California sunshine and combined them under a jumbo sliding skylight. The center of the house became flooded in light, air and hygge.

 

Telegraph Hill Bachelor Pad

View of San Francisco skyline from Telegraph Hill

View of San Francisco skyline from Telegraph Hill

 

TELEGRAPH HILL BACHELOR PAD

A friend introduced me to a guy who was convinced he needed to replace every window in his house. His front windows were oriented north, but had a direct line of sight to the Golden Gate Bridge and the wind that whips across the city front. He also wanted a yoga studio. Normally you would put a yoga studio on the ground floor and place the more social rooms where you get the views, but that would eliminate a parking spot. The challenge of doing anything on Telegraph Hill is that there is absolutely no parking available. This house had 3 off-street spots. We preserved all three parking spots and added a floor for the yoga studio and two new roof decks. I got schooled on San Francisco politics during the planning process, but came out on top with a few new tools in the toolbox.

 

Pacific Heights Renovation

North elevation showing new bay windows, garage roof deck and landscape

North elevation showing new bay windows, garage roof deck and landscape

 

Spreckles House Renovation and Addition

Working on distinguished properties in San Francisco can be challenging. It takes experience and skill to navigate California's historic preservation laws, which often put demands in place that contrast with the current owner's hopes and dreams. This house was designed by Houghton Sawyer as a commission by Adolf Spreckles in 1912 and was left untouched for nearly a century till we remodeled the whole house, including the addition of twin 3-story bay windows looking out over the San Francisco Bay , two Roof Decks, Guest Suite, Art Studio, Gymnasium and outdoor terraces. Extensive landscaping of the entire property created a unique outdoor space for family use.

 

Noe Valley Remodel

North elevation showing new bay windows, roof deck and landscape

North elevation showing new bay windows, roof deck and landscape

 

A New Kitchen and Garden Room for the Boys

Originally this house was a rabbit warren of tiny rooms, half of which were hardly being used. The boys who lived there had more or less learned to avoid the isolated rooms tucked out in the corners and lived primarily in the social, open center of the house. We adapted the house by blowing out all the walls on the upper floor to get a single multi-use room better suited for their lifestyle and enjoying friends and family. Skylights overhead fill the room with light. The downstairs was also transformed from a TV room to a proper Garden Room by adding full width doors to the rear yard.

 
 

Additional Dwelling Units

The ADU program is progressive legislation aimed at helping resolve the housing shortage in San Francisco. It turns off many of the restrictive zoning requirements that prevented property owners from adding dwelling units in the past. The intent of the ordinance is quantity, not quality and allows squishing apartments into places no apartment should ever be. By leveraging decades of experience designing high end residences, we seem to turn out units that grab higher than average rental rates. I have close contacts inside the planning department and help steer some of this program by providing feedback from the front line. 

 
Alamo Square ADU - Existing Plan

Alamo Square ADU - Existing Plan

Alamo Square ADU - Proposed Plan

Alamo Square ADU - Proposed Plan

 

Scott Street - 3 additional dwelling units

When I first came to San Francisco, I lived in a nice little 1 bedroom with my (then) girlfriend right around the corner from this project. It's my favorite neighborhood in SF, for no reason in particular except that I went through that initial introduction to the wonders of living here. The other thing relevant about this neighborhood is that it's easy to see the cyclical changes that San Francisco has gone through over the last 150 years. The upper apartments in this building are classic Victorians with high ceilings and attention to detail. Over the years they've been hacked and adapted to current needs till only vestigial remnants of the better times persist. The same could be true of this project, favoring more living space over automobile parking and storage. No doubt these apartment will get top dollar when they hit the market in mid 2018.

 
Haight Asbury ADU

Haight Asbury ADU

Dolores Heights ADU

Dolores Heights ADU

Marina ADU

Marina ADU

Mission Historic Building ADU

Mission Historic Building ADU

 

Basement & garage conversions

Basements are the most common ADU. Up until now, most buildings maxed out on either their density or zoning designation for the maximum number of units they could have. The remaining tough issue with basements is getting a window onto open space to meet the mitigated requirements of Sec. 140 for exposure. Exiting from basements is also complicated, especially when exit stairs from above pass through or discharge through a side passage.

 
 

The intent of Ord. 162-16 (to be updated again in Sept 2017) is to place dwelling units in under-used parts of the building, producing apartments with shortcomings that will hopefully keep their market appeal in check, and hence the price in the "reasonable" zone. Property owners have different goals, wanting to see a return on investment as soon as possible. Good design, a sensible layout and a few tricks can change the feel of a basement apartment to be comparable with other units, and often exceed their value in income potential.

 
North Panhandle Garage Conversion ADU

North Panhandle Garage Conversion ADU

 

Stand Alone Garage Conversions

Stand alone garages offer the greatest potential for interesting units. There is usually better access to light, better exiting, better opportunity for outdoor space or roof deck. This one grabbed the flat roof over the garage for a 325 sq ft private access roof deck. Attention to detail inside includes European white oak floors (very Danish) and a layout that places the bedroom away from the street for privacy and quiet.

 
 
 
 

studio location

 

FARRELL ARCHITECTURE

610 Coloma Street, Studio 727
Sausalito, CA 94965
4 1 5 . 3 2 6 . 4 2 9 9

info@farrellarchitecture.com