The client, a restaurateur and former professional baseball player for the Japanese leagues whose love for Japanese culture and cuisine manifested itself into his San Francisco Japanese restaurant and his Asian-influenced home.
The client desired a house that would maximize the amount of livable space while maintaining a usable backyard and pool, all with hints of an Eastern aesthetic. The client did not want the home to loom as a monolith above the surrounding neighborhood.
To establish an unobtrusive streetscape presence, Shubin + Donaldson took advantage of the downward sloping nature of the land. From the street, the residence appears to be a two-story structure, but the rear view reveals a spacious three-story, terraced home with full-length glass windows and doors that look onto the pool.
To impart a Japanese elegance, fine craftsmanship, reminiscent of seamless, fitted Japanese woodworking and various combinations of Asian-origin hardwoods are used throughout this ground-up construction. Rows of stained-teak planks with steel create railings, shades, gates, and fences on the exterior and interior of the house. Planks are meticulously joined at corners, appearing nearly seamless. Asian hardwoods also compose the stairs, ceilings, and floors of various interior locales. At the staircase, a shoji screen back window curves into a skylight, blurring the lines between wall and ceiling.
Robin Donaldson AIA
Russell Shubin AIA
Zack Benson, Josh Perrin