Jensen Architects refurbished a beautiful Victorian home in Alamo Square in San Francisco, USA. From the street, the original 1889 facade was faithfully restored; the rear facade displays a modern composition of sliding aluminum screens and glass.

“The current owners had lived in the neighborhood for years,” the architects said. “While they loved Alamo Square’s historic architecture, they desired the openness and flexibility of contemporary homes. This desire informed an architectural composition that integrates two identities and provides for the coexistence of old and new.”

The bedrooms and social areas are located on the second and third floors, respectively, and a small garden apartment sits at ground level.

“A sculptural stair rising through all four floors provides a dramatic focal point while allowing natural light to flood the house from above,” the architects added. “The form of the stair, a twisted volume, alternates wood-clad solids with light-filled voids. A muted interior palette of bleached white oak, marble and neutral colors, contrasts with the rich materiality of the fumed oak of the central stair, bringing the sculptural form into relief.”

Aluminum screens add to the new, modern identity of the house. They provide privacy, while allowing for unobstructed views of the square from inside. Photography by Joe Fletcher.