Surf Shack Modernism, $8M


Two important names in Bay Area architecture– Ernest Born and Aidlin Darling Design– come together in this oceanfront compound that began with Esther and Ernest Born’s own home in 1949 and continued in Aidlin Darling’s sensitive 2006 renovation, connecting the original structure to a 3-story tower clad in weathered CorTen steel panels.

Ernest Born (1898−1992) was a San Francisco architect and graphic designer working in partnership with his (often uncredited) wife Esther Baum Born. His most noteworthy project (and his last) is the Brutalist Glen Park BART station, described by the San Francisco Chronicle’s John King as “…a subterranean temple of transportation with a platform illuminated by radiant shafts, filtered through skylights high above.” The Borns retired soon afterward the station’s completion and moved to San Diego.

Aidlin Darling Design is the renowned San Francisco architecture firm of Joshua Aidlin and David Darling. We’ve looked at their work previously, and with their adroit use of wood, concrete and steel, we can see now in hindsight that they were a perfect choice for this renovation for a surfing couple and their kids.

The architects set the addition alongside the original structure, behind the existing screen of old cypresses, joining it to the original house on the second floor with a floating bridge clad in acid-etched glass without visible means of support. A narrow strip of clear glass at eye level gives a glimpse of cypresses and ocean.

Photo Credit: Robert Schlatter

What We Love: It’s on a huge (for San Francisco) street-to-street triple lot, enabling both the extensive garden and private parking. The Borns designed the 10-foot high screens surrounding the garden, an artifact that’s no longer permitted by the city’s building code, and planted the cypresses that the current owners sought to preserve. Plus we’re a pushover for anything in CorTen steel.

Above, the original living room, paved in terracotta tiles looking out to the garden, and an original second-story bedroom with period appropriate cork flooring.

The tower is essentially a 3-story master suite.

More: Go to the property’s dedicated site for additional images, details, and a video that tells the story best. Asking $8,000,000, a unique opportunity represented by Butch Haze and Mark Vasquez at Compass.

Photo Credit: Open Homes Photography for Compass unless otherwise noted