Dubbed the “Wraparound House,” the project was commissioned by a couple looking for their home to include increased indoor and outdoor space for their families without sacrificing the views around the bay. While the project includes a horizontal and vertical expansion to accommodate six bedrooms and additional interior space totaling 4,738 square feet, the house also required the ground to be stabilized beneath the house.
SAW noted that the Marina neighborhood site is historically known to have been built in a former landfill and was affected by soil contamination from a gas station spill decades ago. Because of these issues, the design team explained the importance of digging 4 to 6 feet of soil to fix the base of the house.
According to the company, “The site, in particular, is in a liquefaction zone where sand and silt take on liquid properties during an earthquake.” In order to remediate the site, the team excavated the top layer of soil and raised the house to install a thicker foundation slab. This freed the load and shear-bearing walls for redistribution, revealing several new configuration schemes at the ground floor level in the process.
Dan Spiegel, architect and co-founder of SAW, notes, “Instead of simply building on the new land, we saw the challenge in redistributing the land vertically across the site, throughout the building. While many buildings have balconies, balconies, or objects of Like that, we set out to maintain complete continuity of new flooring across the entire house, ensuring that every ceiling was not the top of something but the bottom of something—new ground.”
Keen to maintain the flow between the indoor and outdoor spaces of the house, indoor and outdoor spiral staircases provide “connection” at each level. The core of the house’s floor plan is formed from within by a central spiral staircase. Arches from the 1930s were used as design inspiration. The company noted that during the design process, “curved arches were cut and laid flat so that the interior corners were smooth, round surfaces flanking the sculpted central staircase into the heart of the house.” Thus creating the basis for the name of the house “cabbage”.
SAW explained that his landscaping had to be done from scratch as a result of the necessary processing. New alternative soil was needed to help support the new plant life. According to landscape architect and co-founder Megumi Aihara, artificial turf had to be installed over the pre-existing rock backfill in the area left by PG because “the soil wasn’t really there”.
Aihara completed her backyard tree accents, including the October Glory Red Maple, California Fescue, and Russian Sage. “It was planted as soon as the ground floor was demolished, and we were able to place the boxes safely in the large trees through the open construction site,” Aihara commented.
View project drawings and additional photos of home interior design by Heidi Kim of White Spaces Design.