Boor Bridges’ Big Design for a Tiny San Francisco Cottage
This 840 square foot luxury cottage is tucked away mid-block on Ames Alley, steps from the vibrant Mission district, yet protected from the heavily trafficked streets of Guerrero and Valencia. Since the 40’s the existing structure was home to Betty Mae’s School of Tap, and the one studio room outfitted with low dance bars saw over 30 years of tiny dancers cross its maple floors.
When faced with renovating the building, owners Kevin Smith and Flora Grubb could not bring themselves to tear it down even though they had approval to build a 2-story structure over a garage. Instead they tapped their friend Seth Boor of Boor Bridges Architecture to see just how luxurious and livable they could make such a compact space without losing the warm memory of the dance studio. The result is a one-of-a-kind urban sanctuary and grown-up clubhouse, where every square inch has been designed and manicured, and where the open feel of the studio remains the primary organizing principal.
In the main studio space, a new central fireplace wall sided with re-claimed douglas fir anchors the living room bathed in light from the skylight above. Around the other side this central piece opens up to become a closet space serving the master bedroom. Along the east wall custom FSC-certified cherry cabinets wrap in and out of the full kitchen, providing ample storage, framing the entrance to a clever bathroom, and a hidden washer and dryer. In the kitchen dark custom concrete counter tops wrap the u-shaped working space, overhanging the living room to form a dining bar.
Pulling this whole edge of the space together is a continuous integral color plaster wall that begins in the bathroom and travels through the kitchen into a petite open air patio space, reinforcing a beautiful indoor-outdoor connection where you didn’t even know you had room for a ‘backyard’. French doors open wide to the rear patio, letting in light and air and perfectly framing the view of the plaster wall hung with a framed vertical succulent garden. Stepping out onto the 40 square foot patio you are pleasantly surprised to find a custom concrete soaking tub tucked away at the garden’s edge. At the opposite edge a fixed ladder leads the adventurous to a rooftop redwood deck, complete with kitchen garden and fixed glass tabletop (which doubles as the bathroom skylight) for moonlit cocktails.
For additional information on the design of Ames Alley Cottage, please contact:
Seth Boor, Principal
Boor Bridges Architecture
To view some before picture of the cottage before the reconstruction go here. To see more pictures of the completed cottage click here. This house will be going on the market in mid October if you are interested.
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