San Francisco Modern Architecture
A guide to interesting homes and commercial buildings.

These two homes were built around 1995 though they are very much influenced by 80s design.Why? Well, the treatment of different volumes with different materials and colors is reminiscent of that decade. Also, the 1980s fell in love with Art Deco and reinterpreted some of the elements of that aesthetic in a Post Modern way. The left unit definitely nods its head toward Art Deco but the colors and the adobe-like exterior also conjure up images of desert architecture from New Mexico and the South West. The right unit is hard to pin down. The gabled roof which looks like someone cut out spaces for windows with a saw after it was built and the reckless-seeming placement of windows makes this an odd structure and for that reason I like it. It's eccentric. It looks like some kind of barn/shed but with the metal paneled roof tiles - it is more a barn for industrial purposes rather than agricultural- making it a definite city structure. Where both units touch, where the entrance doors are, above this space - both units have triangular windows that mirror each other - giving the viewer a hint that these two different looking buildings are somehow related.

Two years after writing this I received an email from someone who had this to share:

" I saw your web page on S.F. modern architecture, and wanted to say thanks for doing it. I wanted to share some info. The house on the right, I believe, is the last house done by Frank Israel, before he died in '95. Most of his work is in L.A., but he also did a house in the Berkeley Hills. The house on the left, which I feel is a poor design, was an add-on to a really cool single-story 60's shack, which sadly mimics Mr. Israel 's design, instead of looking for a complementary solution. I remember driving by many times during the construction of the beige house, hoping it would turn out for the better."