Modern home with history (Sponsored)

advertising feature | COVER STORY Modern home with history (Sponsored) The perforated black steel staircase allows light to flow throughout the home, and is a nod to its industrial past while serving as a bold statement intertwined throughout each floor. Modern home with history (Sponsored) The ten foot ceilings […]

advertising feature | COVER STORY

Modern masterpiece retains historic industrial details


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The story of transitioning from urban warehouses to domestic dwellings in South of Market is told vividly through the re-imagination of this architectural masterpiece. After being an industrial tire shop and warehouse in the late 1930s, 955 Natoma St. had been through several incarnations before the current owners made the purchase. At the time of purchase, it was a bit dilapidated, zoned as “light industrial” and being used primarily as a workshop downstairs with a couple bedrooms cobbled together on the second floor.

While livable, the building was in need of some real love. The owners lived in the space for one year prior to construction. During those 12 months, buckets were positioned throughout to catch water dripping down from a leaky roof into the living and sleeping spaces. The insulation was sparse and the heater didn’t work, so most of the time the owners were draped in down coats and beanies, with the young son donning fingerless S.F. Giants gloves to plow through homework and practice guitar. Meals were made using a two-burner hotplate and a microwave. And an Airstream was rolled into the garage so the husband could hole up alone and watch Breaking Bad without bothering the rest of his family. Despite the inconveniences, the owners kept coming back to the feeling they had when they first walked through the door with their Realtor and architect in tow.

Somehow, a sense of breath in the middle of the city. The lift and freedom you feel when standing in a wide open space, unencumbered by someone else’s tastes and modifications. A rapid heart that happens when you see a 25-by-75 foot space with a 14-foot open joisted ceiling and original old growth redwood framing still in perfect condition. Their hearts skipped a beat as they thought about all the possibilities on that first day.

They were inspired, thinking about creating something unique and original that reflected their tastes, their passions, and with a flexibility not often recognized in a family residence. They were drawn to the idea of creating a home that could accommodate art, music, gatherings. It was a location that put everything worth doing in a city, a stone’s throw away. That too drew them in. It was the chance for their young son to see the city through a different lens.

After the purchase, they sheltered and worked tirelessly with the city to rezone and alter the footprint to allow their family to embrace urban living, stretch themselves and grow. With the need to rezone the land, extensively alter the footprint of the building, and submit plans during a massive wave of new construction, the combined process with the city and the actual construction took just more than four years.

What was created is unlike anything you have ever seen. Designed by local architecture firm MAK Studio, the modern home boasts four bedrooms, four bathrooms and more than 4,500 square feet across foul levels.

The entry level features an immersive gallery space, complete with concrete floors and access to the atrium. This level also includes a full bathroom and sound-proof music studio that could easily be used as a bedroom.

The main level features an open living/dining room with exposed joists and I-beams and a professional kitchen that has been perfectly crafted to look like a piece of art. Behind the kitchen is a bedroom, bathroom, and breakfast room. The perforated black steel staircase allows light to flow throughout the home, and is a nod to its industrial past while serving as a bold statement intertwined throughout each floor.

The third level includes the guest bedroom as well as the expansive master suite with huge walk-in closet, and two terraces.

A large media room with an attached deck with landscaping is on the top level of the home.

955 Natoma St. is an award-winning home by Interior Design Magazine & AIA SF, and has been featured in DPAGES and Dwell Magazine.

Listed by: Frank Nolan, Vanguard Properties, [email protected], 415-377-3726.


Four bedrooms, four bathrooms

4,509 square feet (per graphic artist)

Extensive renovation and expansion in 2016

Three spacious terraces

Large gallery space at entry level

Atrium with custom iron sculpture

Luxurious master suite with expansive walk-in closet

Perforated black steel staircase

Custom music studio with soundproofing 

White Oak hardwood floors 

Concrete floors at entry level

Radiant heat

Integrated sound

Two-car garage

Price: $5.995 million

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