Regional Modern: San Francisco's Homes Are Built for the Views

Editor's Note: The Regional Modern series focuses on the regional differences in modern and contemporary architecture, countering the impression that "modern" means universal and placeless. In photo tours from Manhattan to Malibu, see how today's innovative homes are influenced by climate, environment, and culture, becoming both private oases and part of a larger landscape we all share.

San Francisco is easily one of the most beautiful cities in the world, due to the combination of a hilly landscape, water on three sides, and an impressive building stock. The "Painted Ladies," the old Victorian buildings that draw tourists to neighborhoods like Haight-Ashbury, are probably the best-known examples of the city's architecture. Unfortunately for architects pushing the envelope with contemporary buildings, this historical fabric and its supporters make the city a notoriously difficult place to get things done.

But get done they do, from projects like the Federal Building by Morphosis and Stanley Saitowitz's Yerba Buena Lofts to the following houses scattered throughout the Bay Area. In general, we see architects dealing with this historical context as well as other urban considerations -- noise, privacy, building codes -- and the ever-present desire to get the best view possible. The following photos show how they've succeeded.


More Regional Modern entriesAustin | Boston | New York City | Metro New York | Chicago

Presented by

John Hill is a New York City-based architecture writer for Houzz.com.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in National

Just In