Hou Residence

Modernity on a Modest budget

Approached by a young couple who were on a very limited budget, we transformed this banal 1950’s rancher into a modern residence that is dramatic, but appropriately scaled for this modest Millbrae neighborhood.

The house was completely reorganized by relocating the entry from the center of the house to the side, allowing for a proper mudroom for this shoeless household and also taking advantage of the side slope lot to provide a more graceful entry.

By efficiently reorganizing the floor plan, we transformed the house from a three bedroom, two–bath house into a four bedroom, three-bath house with private study while adding only 120 SF of additional space. Relocating the kitchen to a former family room, allowed for a large, contiguous great room that spans the entire front of the house. A new shed roof allows for a dramatic bank of 9’ windows that provide a spectacular East Bay view. Connecting the kitchen’s original cathedral ceiling to the new shed roof makes a sculptural space that is dynamic and light-filled.

The shed roof conveniently shields a jumble of hip roofs of the original house, presenting a thoroughly modern façade to the street.

The materials utilized throughout are modern, but were chosen for their durability and also price point. We are proud to say that this house was reconstructed for less than $160 a square feet, remarkable in today’s heated construction environment.