Photo: Open Homes Photography
Architect Tomer Maymon’s thoughtfulness, diligence and practicality have made him a highly-sought after expert for Bay Area residents looking to remodel their homes.
Boasting experience in the software industry, military and architecture, Maymon brings unique perspective to every project. But his overall design ethos is simple.
“First and foremost I design for daily life,” said Maymon, who serves as principal of his eponymous architectural firm in San Francisco. “You think about how the house will be used for entertaining as well, but my primary focus is the day-to-day living and indoor/outdoor flow.”
He’s alternated between technology companies and architecture for years and recently pivoted to focus more on remodeling homes for sale.
His latest project, 363 Bright St., listed for $1.398 million and sold for $1.64 million. The thorough renovation updated the facade and modernized the floor plan of the Ingleside Heights home.
Born in and educated in Israel, Maymon moved to San Francisco in 2003. He worked for several technology companies (mainly startups) as a project manager within the software engieering groups for 7 years. He entered the tech industry amidst the Great Recession, when demand for high-end facilities was cratering. Previous to it, Maymon was a project architect in the construction industry for 12 years, earned his license as an Architect in 2008.
“The crisis in the design and construction industry along the great recession forced me to reinvent myself, and add hands-on experience in both tech and the real estate investment to my experience as an Architect” Maymon said. “Architectural Design alone seems to be isolated from the operational and financial considerations that shape the building, I became curious about how money works behind building and interned with a commercial real estate firm before working with investors on commercial properties.”
In addition to designing high end residential homes in Israel, Netherlands and Sillicone Valley, Maymon’s past portfolio is comprised of university, labs and healthcare buildings, like UC Riverside Health Sciences Research Building, which Maymon led as the project Architect in SRG Partnership, in close collaboration with his principal and mentor, architect Ralph Belton.
In this interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Maymon talks about his favorite type of home to remodel, his design process and the overlap between working for high-tech firms and being an Architect.
Q: What’s your favorite type of architecture to remodel?
Tomar Maymon, principal, Tomer Maymon Architecture.
About: Born and educated in Israel, Maymon’s the son of a general contractor who started working for his father when he was 15 for many summers, enjoyed software programming in his Arts and Science highschool years, before his service as an officer in a special force unit as part of the compulsory military service in Israel.
Tomer always felt a draw toward architecture. He participated and won in design competitions in Israel and South Korea and started his architecture firm during the Great Recession. Maymon prides himself on functional, thoughtful and useful designs that suit themselves for everyday living. In addition to a wealth of residential projects, his portfolio also includes institutional (high education and science) buildings.
Maymon is focused on design-build projects, as well as collaboration with developers and Investors, as Haim Mamane Palman that he enjoyed collaborating with along 2019 and early 2020.
Contact information: www.tmaymon.wixsite.com/architecture
A: I would say the houses built during and after World War II. You find them all over the city. I can’t say for sure, but it feels like it’s the majority of San Francisco’s housing stock. They were value-engineered and built quickly. They were affordable, but weren’t very imaginative. What I’m doing is taking those boxes and reinterpreting them for the 21st Century. I like working with these houses because they are more affordable. It’s challenging because I stay within the envelope of the existing building.
Q: What’s common between working in the tech industry and work as an architect?
A: There’s a bunch of things there that I’ve taken from software industry, like morning meetings, daily scrums and quality assurance reviews at the end of each week. I enjoyed working in tech startups, in short, intense iterations via agile-scrum with the software engineers — architecture feels quite similar. I follow the agile-scrum process with my crews, including running different options and optimizing the design with their cost and time calculations.
User feedback is also something else employed in the tech industry that carries over to architecture, I have a Realtor I trust — Mary Macpherson. She has a refined eye and helps prevent me from getting in my own feedback loop where only my ideas are getting in.
Q: What’s your favorite type of project?
A: I prefer to work customized, affordable housing. Unlike the top high-end residential, which is not only costly to design, but also holds a larger volume of scope and requires resourcing the development, design and construction from larger practices. They’re costly to coordinate, procure and most importantly, execute.
Q: What is one of your design philosophies?
A: I don’t let my tastes dictate. It’s not a personal project. It’s a product that needs to be sold. Of course, it’s always good to bounce things around with folks and not having it echoing in your own head. My site walks and plans review with realtor Mary Macpherson were instrumental in my selection of finishes and spatial concepts that appeal to families and buyers. My projects are nimble and return-on-investment driven without compromising the quality and best practice of both design and execution.
Q: What were some changes you implemented at 363 Bright St.?
A: That was a good case study in what we do. We put the owner’s suite on the ground level and thought a lot about how to finalize the great-room: the desired common open-space that joins the kitchen, dining and living in one large tall (vaulted) open space, showered with natural light from new skylights above. We always try to simulate how people would circulate around it in our site walks from the very start of the project design and construction. We worked with the bones of the existing home. Vaulting the top bedrooms and adding an opening to the existing staircase are additional enhancements that made it more open and less secluded.