Back to LifeAuthor:Lindsey Shook
“It was important to the team to design and deliver beautiful spaces that paid homage to the home’s 1927 heritage, yet fully supported the client’s 21st century lifestyle,” says Greg Cook of Cook Construction on the collaborative efforts with David Armour Architecture and ABD Studios, to bring a historic home located in S.F.’s Marina District back to life. “As a team, our goal was to bring the client’s vision to fruition, on time and on budget, exceeding their expectations in every way possible.”
Purchased in 2010, Chip Virnig was eager to rid the property of bad renovations and restore it to the original integrity. Aside from the charm, he was drawn to the four-story home for its expansive views of the Golden Gate Bridge. “He lived there for a few years with fellow bachelor friends, working downtown at a private equity firm and enjoying life,” Cook notes. In 2010, the client met Meredith, his future wife who shared his passion for design. “As the pair began planning their future home together, they took daily walks through the Marina, admiring another Spanish Colonial that had just completed its own historically sensitive renovation,” says Cook. “They slipped a note under the door asking after the architect and, in early 2017, sat down with David Armour Architecture to tap the firm’s talent for preserving architectural character while designing spaces to suit contemporary living.”
Armor accepted the challenge with the goal of “marrying smaller rooms to create more gracious living spaces; re-orienting closed-off halls and rooms; and relocating functional rooms to other levels, all with fixtures befitting the home’s original Spanish flair,” he notes. He then enlisted Cook Construction, known for their top notch craftsmanship, to help realize this historic dream project. “Through a referral from a previous ABD Studio client, Meredith and Chip engaged ABD Studio to design the furnishings,” says Armor. “Known for balancing architectural style with appropriate scale and inviting room compositions, ABD Studio completed the home with elegant pieces in soft tones and patterns to give the rooms an inviting and comfortable feel that was still functional for the clients’ daily lifestyle.”
Aside from creating a more modern flow, the clients desired a cohesive design that was quaint while honoring the Spanish roots. “The client’s biggest spatial dream was creating plenty of room to relax in comfort, seamlessly integrating new modern amenities with Spanish architectural features such as venetian plaster and era-evocative tile,” says Cook. They possessed several family heirlooms, vintage cars and an expansive wine collection that called for custom showcasing and storage. A dedicated garage and Spanish-evocative wine hall with wrought-iron doors were built to house the rare collections while enhancing guest’s experience. “We created a rooftop entertainment area that has views of the Bay,” says Cook. “It is great for parties and also highlights the very desirable indoor/outdoor living space that is popular in Northern California.”
The team worked closely with the couple through the entire process to help bring their vision to life. “Their big reveal moment was actually just after move-in, when they proudly hosted their friends, family and the design teams at their first large event during the Blue Angels weekend, showcasing the new rooftop entertaining space, with perfect views of both the home and city,” says Brittany Haines.