A Uniquely Sublime Penthouse, Floating Above The City, $9.9M


wThe work of architect Johanna Grawunder, this luxurious penthouse is a tour-de-force of precision craftsmanship, reflection and light. Completely unlike any other property in San Francisco and topping off the full service building at 690 Market Street, this extraordinary 2-level condominium came on the market today asking $9,900,000

Floors throughout are immaculately finished concrete, as are the massive stair treads with embedded LED illumination, above; the gleaming foyer walls are polished aluminum.

The owners are longtime Italian tech entrepreneurs who have now returned to their native Florence. Here, they sought a design that was “metropolitan, global in outlook, and sophisticated” rather than San Francisco’s casual aesthetic, and having purchased the penthouse as a completely raw shell, they spent the next few years shepherding this exceptionally complex buildout. With almost everything custom fabricated in Italy, a team of six craftsmen were literally imported from Italy for the installation. And as the wife put it, “our marriage survived!”

For her part, Grawunder brought decades of experience to the project. A native of San Diego, she was a protege of the great italian architect and polemicist Ettore Sottsass, and like her mentor, her career has spanned residential and luxury retail interiors, as well as furniture and lighting design, on an international level

Grawunder designed the site-specific pendant fixture in the penthouse’s double height bay window (at top and above.)  Made of clear acrylic and polished stainless steel, and titled De Stijl after the Dutch design movement, it was fabricated by the New York/Paris decorative arts gallery Carpenter’s Workshop. Also fabricated in Italy, the mind-boggling open fireplace dominates the living area, shifting from clear glass to a reflective blue–tinted mirror.

To quote the owner: “San Francisco’s soft maritime light is a constant experience here, from the first light of dawn and throughout the day and into the night.  It’s like being in a airborne balloon suspended above life of the city, with views caught in glimpses and reflections.”

Paneling and cabinets (like the kitchen base cabinets, above) throughout are silvered wood, except for the master bedroom, where it’s been subtly finished with gold leaf. There are two additional bedroom suites plus an office for two.

More polished concrete in the master bath– a softly neutral palette with a framed view.

More: Represented by veteran luxury specialist and top agent Gregg Lynn of Sotheby’s International Realty. Go to the property’s outstanding dedicated site for additional details, images and floor plans, plus a very seductive video.