• 07.28.11

An SF Victorian House Gets A Radical, 21st-Century Update

And it actually looks great!

Modern additions on Victorians usually look terrible. The cool efficiencies of contemporary architecture just don’t gibe with all that gingerbread crap. But the clients of architect Craig Steely were adamant: They wanted to preserve aspects of their San Francisco Victorian and give it a dollop of 21st-century style.


So he sandwiched together the original 1880s building (painted neon green!) with a recycled-wood facade, a frameless glass penthouse, and a steel exoskeleton which in part supports the penthouse and which has all the charm of an industrial warehouse. Sounds like a horrid jumble, right?

Thing is, it works. Just look at the pictures. Lydia Lee, writing in the Architect’s Newspaper, describes it perfectly as the architectural equivalent of “a delicious Napoleon pastry.” Check out her story for lots more info.

[Images courtesy of Craig Steely]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.