In the early 1950s, California architecture was all about the youth. In the Bay Area, young city-dwelling families seeking a new kind of lifestyle looked to put down roots in the wooded hills of San Francisco and the rolling hills of Berkeley and Orinda. For their new-fangled homes, design-minded types often they turned to architect Mario Corbett, who was hailed by Life magazine as a representative of the Bay Area Tradition of residential architecture. Usually featuring lots of natural California redwood, Corbett’s houses are characterized by open floor plans and walls of windows that unify the light-filled minimalist interiors with their natural surroundings.
In 1952, Corbett and another local architect, Stanley Panko, designed an eye-catching home in the Golden Gate Heights neighborhood that may well have one of the best views in San Francisco. And that’s saying something in a city known the world over for its spectacular views. Certainly, the house was designed to maximize its high perch, and today, the place looks almost untouched from the original design. That’s probably because it has remained in the same family since it was built!
A long climb up the hill above a street-level garage, the unusually shaped house hugs the rocky hillside and as is apparent from the floor plan, each room an interesting exercise in geometry. In all, there are 3,830 square feet, which includes four bedrooms, three baths, and one powder room. A trio of fireplaces take the chill off the damp fog that frequently blankets the neighborhood.
On the meandering lower floor is a family room with original kitchenette, along with a bedroom and bath, all of which can be closed off from the rest of the house and utilized as a guest or rental apartment. There’s also a spacious laundry room, and a bonus room currently used for yoga.
Above that is the principal level, with a large living room, a separate dining room and an eat-in kitchen configured around a huge six-sided island. Three more bedrooms and a couple of bathrooms are clustered at the back of the house along with an enclosed terrace.
The angled walls of glass allow almost every room a view of the water, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the city below. The horizon is almost limitless, adding to the sky-high sense of space. And since the house sits so high above the street, privacy is ensured.
There are so many quiet places to sit and soak up the iconic cityscape that it’s really no wonder the original family has held on to the house for almost 75 years. Asking $3.3 million, the rare property is now available for the first time ever via Roh Habibi at Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty.