San Francisco Couple Builds Custom Glass House That Has A Ridiculous View Of The City

Peter's House Courtesy of Craig SteelyThe striking glass tower faced plenty of structural challenges.

Industrial designer Peter Russell-Clarke and Mechanical-engineer Jan Moolsintog commissioned architect Craig Steely with the difficult task of designing their dream home.

The couple wanted to build their house on a small 1,800-square-foot lot on a steep hill that Clarke had purchased in 2009, according to Dwell.

To take advantage of the limited amount of space, Steely decided to build up and create a tower type of home; and since the vacant site offered expansive views of San Francisco, he made the tower out of glass.

But then the main issue was, “how to build a glass house to capture the view and sunlight that still allows for a level of privacy,” Craig Steely told Business Insider.

Peter's House Courtesy of Craig SteelyThe project was dubbed ‘Peter’s House.’

The solution was to build a system of moveable louvres made out of reclaimed cypress trees from San Francisco’s Presidio park. The louvres, “are angled so the view can be seen from the inside but pedestrians outside cannot look in.”

Some of the louvres are on fixed on the outside, and some are operable from the inside.

Peter's House Courtesy of Craig SteelyThe project was built on a steep hill overlooking Dolores Park.

The home has a “wonderful view to the east but is immediately adjacent to a public garden and walkway.” Thus, the louvres that are fixed on the outside of the glass home basically work like a fence.

Peter's House Courtesy of Craig SteelyThe home is next-door to public garden and walkway.

But, in the bedrooms of the home, the louvers are inside the building, which allows the residents to adjust their expansive views of San Francisco.

Peter's House Courtesy of Craig SteelyThe couple can adjust their views with the louvres that are located on the inside of the home.

Steely also implemented beautiful porthole windows throughout the home as a, “simple and practical solution for ventilating the large expanses of glass at all the walls.”

Peter's House Courtesy of Craig SteelyPorthole windows are put throughout the home to break up the floor-to-ceiling glass.

The kitchen plays with the notions of indoor vs. outdoor. Steely explained that he used only white marble slab countertops and reclaimed Cypress to build the cabinets, and that he wanted to bring “rougher materials indoors and more refined materials outside.”

Peter's House Courtesy of Craig SteelyA large sliding glass door separates the indoor/outdoor kitchen.

Half of the indoor/outdoor kitchen was left unroofed to resolve practical issues with space. The couple can enjoy the sunshine in the summer months, and then stretch a fabric roof cover over it in the wet season.

Peter's House Courtesy of Craig SteelyThe couple can place a fabric cover over the kitchen and continue to use it when it is raining.

Rather than the typical foundations, the home is built on a cast-in-place concrete garage. The garage door uses an innovative scissor folding system, which is most often seen on aeroplane hanger doors.The garage doors uses slats rather than the more common solid material.

“The slats emphasis the dynamic quality of the door as it opens and maintains a level of privacy in the garage when closed,” Steely told Business Insider.

Peter's House Courtesy of Craig SteelyThe garage has a cleverly designed bi-folding door.

Here is a view of ‘Peter’s House’ at night:

The home was finished in 2012. For more of Craig Steely’s projects, check out his website here.

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