This creative, 1,620-square-foot home was completed by Mork Ulnes Architects in San Francisco. Constrained by zoning requirements and a tight budget, the architects needed to think outside the box when planning the renovation.

The project, 20th Street, stands out in the neighborhood thanks to its matte black siding, typically used on skateboarding ramps. A penthouse addition was built atop the previously two-level home; the new space now hosts the residents’ social functions.

This upper level provides extensive city views from the terrace. “A hand-drilled, operable steel screen doubles as an awning and diffuses light to imbue the penthouse with a playful atmosphere,” the architects said.

An optimum relationship with the outdoors is ensured by an inner courtyard as well as the home’s large windows. There is an overall feeling of space inside the penthouse. Against the white walls and light wood throughout, colorful accents create a cheerful ambiance.

A steel catwalk provides a connection directly from the third floor to the back garden, thanks to the plot’s steep terrain. What elements of this home do you find most captivating? [Photography by Bruce Damonte]