Over the years, Jonathan Feldman and Lisa Lougee have purchased and bought quite a few homes.
“We thought of ourselves as serial flippers,” stated Mr. Feldman, 52, the founding accomplice of the San Francisco-based agency Feldman Architecture, the place Ms. Lougee, 51, works as an inside designer. “It supplemented our struggling, fledging professional careers.”
But by 2011, Feldman Architecture had change into extra established and the couple had two daughters — Sasha, now 14, and Summer, 11 — and “we were tired of all the moving,” he stated.
That’s once they heard a couple of exceptional property that was about to go available on the market: a 1905 house on a quiet cul-de-sac terminating on the Presidio nationwide park that sat on a 50-foot-wide lot — twice the width of most properties in the world.
“That meant it had outdoor space,” Mr. Feldman recalled. “We jokingly said we could have a farm in the city.”
“By San Francisco standards,” he added, “it’s decadent.”
The Edwardian home additionally supplied a chance for Mr. Feldman to experiment with a few of his concepts about weaving inexperienced constructing methods into an present — and, in this case, historic — construction.
“I’m always trying to convince my clients to push further in this way,” he stated. “So pushing on our own house was something I wanted to do.”
Concerned that there might be a bidding warfare, the couple made a suggestion earlier than the home was formally available on the market, with out even setting foot inside.
“I knew that our plans would include an all-new foundation and all-new electrical, plumbing and systems, so I wasn’t too afraid of what we’d discover,” Mr. Feldman stated. “We made a pre-emptive offer that was a little bit aggressive.”
The technique labored, they usually closed on the home for about $2.9 million that September. Then the couple toiled on the design for a 12 months and a half, discovering in the method that that they had completely different concepts about precisely what the home ought to change into.
“There was a debate about how modern to make it,” stated Mr. Feldman, who’s a dedicated modernist, whereas his spouse’s aesthetic is a bit more conventional.
The largest bone of rivalry, it turned out, was the place to place the staircase.
Like most properties of the interval, this one had a staircase close to the doorway. Mr. Feldman wished to maneuver the steps towards the middle of the home, the place they might be illuminated with skylights. That method, all the ground plan might be opened up, bringing in extra mild in every single place.
“I had a hard time with that in an Edwardian house,” Ms. Lougee stated. “That set our project back several months. But eventually I came around, and I’m really glad I did.”
The new blackened-steel-and-glass staircase is now considered one of her favourite options.
“Once we worked out the stair,” she stated, “we were so relieved to have come to an agreement that we were both willing to compromise” on issues just like the furnishings, the place they break up the distinction, mixing trendy and conventional items, from a glossy B&B Italia couch to vintage bergères.
Mr. Feldman made a number of different vital modifications to the home: He had the basement excavated so he may improve the ceiling there from six and a half toes to eight and a half toes. He transformed the attic to a house workplace and put in a dormer. He added home windows alongside the aspect of the home to let in extra mild. And he utterly redesigned the again to accommodate an open kitchen and household room with French doorways opening out to the backyard, the place he and Bernard Trainor, the founding principal of the panorama structure agency Ground Studio, overhauled the yard, introducing a slope so the basement could have walkout access.
Within the shell of the Edwardian structure, he also managed to create a 21st-century space with enough sustainable materials and features to earn a LEED Platinum certification from the United States Green Building Council. Those features include a heat-recovery ventilation system that provides fresh air while recycling heat; a hydronic radiant-heating system that adds warmth underfoot and gets a boost from a roof-mounted, solar hot-water system; a large photovoltaic rooftop array that generates nearly as much electricity as the house consumes; and a Savant automation system that allows the couple to monitor energy capture and use.
And to cut down on the amount of water they consume, Mr. Feldman installed a gray-water collection system that filters and recycles water from showers, sinks and the laundry, using it for irrigation and — after lengthy negotiations with the city’s building inspector to gain permission — flushing toilets.
The contractors, Jeff King & Company, completed construction on the five-bedroom, 4,630-square-foot home in about a year and a half, at a cost of roughly $650 a square foot, before the family moved in, in July 2014.
Almost immediately, they felt it necessary to reveal some of the home’s secrets to their new neighbors.
“As soon as we moved in we had some bad drought years,” Mr. Feldman said, “and we had this beautiful, lush garden, while everyone else was letting their lawns and gardens die. We had to put up signs that said, ‘This is irrigated with recycled water,’ so people wouldn’t get mad at us.”
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