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  • Knock Architecture & Design

Sky Gallery Residence

San Francisco CA , United States

Ryan Knock

Architect / Designer

Photographer- Cesar Rubio

The outset for this renovation was a dated penthouse apartment in a 1960’s high rise atop Nob Hill in San Francisco which was surviving well below its potential. This penthouse, which soars over the neighborhood and has 270 degree views from the Bay, South San Francisco, Pacific Ocean, and Golden Gate Bridge, still felt closed off, small, and uninspired. The overlapping focuses of this renovation were to increase the volume and penthouse feel, to layer and create a hierarchy of private and public spaces, and to highlight the views and also the owner’s extensive art collection. To begin, the eight foot ceilings were removed and replaced at nearly ten feet for the penthouse feeling. An entirely new palette was employed and layered through the different spaces, and a minimal selection of materials was employed including white walls and panelling, calacatta marble, dark stained rift white oak flooring and panelling, and haisa marble. These materials were expressed as architectural elements and use in a cubist-like fashion to highlight the spaces and to enhance the transitions between them. In doing so, new openings were created between the rooms, the galleries, and views, and a series of wood panels was used as a solid screen and also a series of portals between the living, entry, and gallery spaces, in which the panels also concealed closets, storage cabinets, and an entire wet bar space. Extreme attention to minimalist detailing allows the art, views and furnishings to come to the foreground. New views are framed in each space, and expansive art walls were created in each room to make this a new whole space dedicated to art, the views, and living amongst them.

What were the key challenges? Limitations of building in 1960's High Rise, Penthouse floor (27th). Access, work required to gain 12" of ceiling was immense.

Key products used: Haisa Light Marble, Calacatta Marble, Rift White Oak

What were the solutions? Creating intimate galleries within the intermediate spaces. Changing subtle dimensions to these often forgotten spaces created the opportunity for specific art and viewing.

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