A dark, dated attic is turned into a bright master suite and workspace.
Synopsis: A client hired architect Jonathan Feldman’s firm and gave them the task of updating the dark, dated, dysfunctional attic of his town house in San Francisco. The plan was to reinvent the attic as a bright workspace with a master suite and comfortable sitting area. Because of zoning regulations, the roof couldn’t go higher than it did, so Feldman eliminated the kneewalls, built new exterior walls, and reduced the roof pitch. These steps increased the usable floor space and provided opportunity for windows. The next challenge was to arrange the spaces so that the client could have a bedroom suite and a home office in the space. Feldman’s solution was to place the work area at the top of a set of stairs, with a reading area to buffer the work zone from the bedroom. The new space also leads to a rooftop patio over the lower living room, creating access to the outdoors and views.
When my client, a landscape designer, approached my firm, his historic Arts and Crafts town house in the heart of San Francisco had problems common to many older homes: It was dark and dysfunctional. The finished attic occupied valuable interior space, but it sat below a steeply pitched roof and had limited access to daylight or views. Like a lot of attics, this one had knee walls that confined the floor space with the most headroom to the middle of the house below the ridge. This resulted in only a narrow corridor of usable space.
With the firm’s help, the client sought to reinvent the attic as a bright workspace with a new master suite and a comfortable sitting area.
Nowhere to go but up
Local zoning restrictions prevented us from raising the ridge to gain more height in…