House on Windy Hill
House on Windy Hill
3,478 square feet (interior)
4,399 square feet (perceived)
Polhemus Savery DaSilva’s client for this house, a family who lives year-round in San Francisco, sought a classic East Coast Shingle Style house with a gambrel roof and with a garage and guest quarters in a Greek Revival "barn." The site is high on a hill with views in several directions. Our layout of the house and barn and their location on the site are designed around capturing long distant views between neighboring houses.
A porch spans the front of the house and returns just slightly onto the sides. This suggests a wrap-around porch without actually extending the porch completely around the house. The architectural details, such as the rotund Doric columns and gently curving brackets give the house a sense of permanence and a connection to the architectural traditions of the region. Approaching the front entry porch from the north, one perceives an unmistakable gesture of hospitality.
Three volumes project from the primary rectangular gambrel form: a central gable at the front containing the entry and a guest room above, a cantilevered second-floor screened porch at the center of the back, and a first-floor screened porch at a primary view location at the southwest corner, adjacent the kitchen.
Our client’s budget dictated a compact and efficient plan and volume. One enters a welcoming foyer that frames views of the dining area, and water views in the distance. To either side of the entry hall is a gracious library and a bedroom to the west. The south-facing rear of the house contains an expanse of living spaces that stretch along a glassy façade. To the west is a cozy breakfast nook with access to the screened porch.
The depth of the plan and height of the building allow the broad gambrel roof to contain a second floor within a one-and-a-half-story form. The roof not only allows for a compact second floor, but also harkens to the gambrel-crowned summer homes that were the epitome of coastal enclaves. The four second-floor bedrooms cluster around a central sitting room that overlooks the view. This sitting area has a folding glass wall that opens to a screened porch, which permits the enjoyment of cooling breezes and spectacular harbor vistas.