Into the FutureAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Tierney Conner Architecture breathes new life into a mid-century home sitting atop the Piedmont hills
“We integrate architecture, landscape and interiors to create modern residential and commercial spaces,” says Anne Tierney, a partner at Tierney Conner Architecture. “We utilize rich material expression and small artistic details for impact, balancing aesthetics with practicality and revel in beautiful finishes, abundant natural light and intentional forms. We believe in an architecture that feels effortless and inspires everyday life.” This approach was applied both inside and out of a Piedmont home designed for a professional couple who have a modern sensibility and enjoy entertaining.
Set on a hillside that offers partial views of the San Francisco Bay and multiple views of the surrounding wooded landscape, the client’s wanted to increase the size of the single-family home while enhancing its mid-century charm. “They wanted to improve the interior space while building on the qualities they loved like the wood paneling, beamed ceilings and period fireplace,” says Tierney’s partner J.Conner. “Other important goals included increasing the bedroom and bathroom count, capturing the Bay views, harnessing natural light and establishing connections to the exterior spaces by opening up the house and developing terrace and garden areas for entertaining and outdoor living.”
The mission was achieved by adding 200-square-feet that allowed for reorganizing the existing, adjacent spaces to create a new bedroom and bathroom, resulting in an overall 2,600-square-foot house. “The initial challenge with the layout of the home was that the front entry was obscurely located around the back side of the house which was dark, cramped and not visible from the street,” adds their other partner Erin Conner. “The entry is now identifiable from the street with graphic tile, a custom metal gate and bold landscaping.”
At the core of the home is the newly relocated kitchen that opens up to multiple rooms and a new outdoor terrace. “The existing living room and study now extend to the terrace with full walls of folding doors,” says Tierney. “Natural light sneaks its way in throughout the home through skylight shafts and modulated through interior slat screen walls.”
Conner notes, “Modern interventions are woven into the materials of the home, salvaging and refurbishing elements such as the paneling and the study area fireplace, while editing and simplifying in order to find a more cohesive aesthetic for the house.”
The final result is a flawlessly modernized home full of character that exemplifies the possibilities and importance of preservation. “The solutions for complimenting and integrating many of the original details and elements, such as the paneling and the study fireplace, make the home very unique and reflective of their own personal style, which blends mid-century with vintage,” says Tierney. “The clients fell in love with the modern sconces, that were used in the study and dining area, and served as a springboard for developing the style of the interiors and the bar area in the study really exemplifies the aesthetic that has been developed—and it is the hub of entertainment that the house now easily supports, indoors and out.”