Group 41 - H House in San Francisco, California Print
Tuesday, 16 March 2010 07:10

The project, entitled the H House, is an attractive modern architectural residence situated in Noe Valley, a neighborhood located within the central portion of San Francisco, California. To its architect/developer Joel Karr of Group 41, the project was the first ground-up development property and became a welcomed opportunity to express his own distinctive ideas of modernist design.
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Photographs by Ken Gutmaker unles otherwise mentioned


Set in the hills above Noe Valley, the structure takes advantage of sweeping views of the Oakland Hills and the city skyline below. Surrounded by the typical mix of Edwardian, Victorian Italianate, and 1940 renovations, the H House takes a relatively strong modernist stance while still respecting the scale and proportionality of its neighbors.
Main EntranceGroup_41_stairs_03
From the street, the house appears purposefully modest – a simple boxy two story structure. However, the residence cascades down the hill, making the most of a narrow and down sloping site.

Group 41 commissioned a local artist to create a one-of-a-kind steel entry gate. The striated swathes of mild steel weigh in at over 600 lbs but nevertheless glide effortlessly open, welcoming visitors into an atrium space, lined with polished black basalt.
FoyerGroup_41_first_02Black stacked slate wall adds drama and Anchors Structure to the Hill. A monolithic wall wrapped in panels of black, stacked slate pierces down through two stories, anchoring the structure to the steep hill.
Group_41_ground_07Group_41_ground_03The house spreads out over four-level, within the 4,500 square foot property, to include 4 bedrooms and 4.5 baths. A flexible floor plan allows the lower unit to serve as the perfect entertainment space or a separate unit. Finally, outdoor decks, terraces and gardens complement the indoor spaces, making the most of expansive views.
Group_41_ground_05Group_41_ground_06Group_41_ground_04Curvilinear ceiling adds visual interest. “The only curvilinear elements in the entire home are the curved shapes of the ceiling plane and the lighting rail,” explains Joel Karr. “They’re meant to soften the planar feel of the ceiling as you enter the house because the living room steps down and ‘away’ from your point of view and the ceiling becomes an incredibly powerful visual element in the main living space.”
Group_41_ground_01Group_41_stairs_02With the Ingo Maurer “Oh Mei Ma” fixture in the foreground of a double high atrium entry, the impact of the subtle curvatures makes a compelling first impression.
Group_41_Kitchen_03Group_41_Kitchen_04The all-white Master Bath is intended as a gleaming blank canvas. The purpose behind the design of this master bath was to obtain an absolutely colorless room that was neither “feminine” nor “masculine” but would adapt to the unique character of the owners.
Group_41_br_02This white on white theme is achieved through different finishes such as Thassos marble, Inalco white panel tiles, glossy white lacquered vanity elements and Spanish white “bubbles” tile, all complemented by a floating “island” tub on a mat of white glass pebbles and a wall-hung Philippe Starck toilet.
Group_41_first_01Group_41_Master_04

Sustainable design features


Group_41_ext_01Concrete
Increased Fly-Ash content concrete mix for all concrete on the project. Up to 20% fly ash in flatwork.

Construction Waste
Construction Waste recycling program in place during both demolition of the existing dilapidated shack, and throughout the construction cycle. “Balanced” sitework involved zero off-haul or on-haul of soil.

HVAC
97% efficient system, including high efficiency furnaces and distributed Variable Air
Volume boxes. Radiant floor heating in main family area and bathrooms. Reversible hot/cool air fan system in main family area.

Hot Water
All domestic hot water provided through distributed on-demand hot water system.

Solar
Fully solar-ready conduits and roof membranes for easy installation of solar panels.

Flooring
Black Aniline Dyed ECHO TIMBER made from pressed scraps from pulp mills. 100% recycled industrial waste.

Wood Veneers
Macassar ebony ENGINEERED ECO-WOOD. For all doors, special door casings on main floor, main kitchen cabinets, and miscellaneous other veneer finishes. Made from pressed recycled sawdust runoff from paper mills.

Lighting
Extensive use of LED and high-efficacy lighting throughout.

Plumbing
Toilets are all low-flow, and dual flush for water conservation.
Group_41_terrace_01Group_41_terrace_03

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 March 2010 16:17