Interstice Architects / Mission House
“The Mission:House is a two-story “hybridizing” residence. The street level is a multi-purpose space that serves as an ad hoc creative space for the family (architect, landscape architect, and two daughters), and for more formal commercial uses such as office or gallery space. The main residential space, which includes two bedrooms and an open living area, sits above. Located in the diverse Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, the house is both the home and living laboratory for the couple, who have made it their personal trial grounds for materials, light and unorthodox construction techniques. Experiments range from floors of expansive steel plates, walls of thermal plastics, and magnetic closet/display walls, to integrated passive energy strategies, ingenious waste-stream material reclamation, and high-tech thermal and solar power collection.
The ground floor access to both units is through a facade of shingled glass built entirely of reclaimed material, creating an unusual “Greenskin” of refracted light filtered through superimposed frames. The lower unit opens up through a sliding plastic facade onto a confined rear yard containing a translucent garden-shed/play-house and a wood tiled deck nestled between a swath of drought tolerant swaying grasses and a tall bamboo forest. The studio interior is divided by a 50-foot long wall of sliding pin-up/doors which reconfigure to reveal library shelving, storage and service rooms, a conference space, and kitchenette.
The open interior upstairs breathes light deep into its core where an operable skylight stretches across the house letting in the sky (and rain), while the rear 30-foot tall corrugated thermal plastic facade, looks into the canopy of the timber bamboo grove. The translucent and luminous materials imbue the small home with a sense of volume and openness. Cabinetry walls of lacquer and stainless steel slide and swing to absorb program, while the reconfigured roof integrates an organic vegetable garden, hot tub, and green roof as well as a 4Kwatt photo-voltaic array into a ship-like topography of modular wood tiles.”
Photography by Cesar Rubio