Design Dilemma: Disguising a Garage


The San Francisco Planning Department told architect Ross Levy that he couldn’t change the facade of his client’s historic home on Bernal Heights by adding a garage. For many people, that would be the end of the story. For Levy, it was just the start of a design challenge.

The Victorian had a classic bay window, just where Levy proposed adding a garage. Instead of scrapping his plan, Levy came up with a way meet the city’s requirements while creating a garage for the family. He designed a motorized, hinged garage door that looks like a bay window. The pictures tell the story:

“It’s the talk of the neighborhood,” says the homeowner. “When we finished it, I had to demonstrate it for all the neighbors.”

Biggest problem? People don’t always recognize it as a garage and mistakenly park in front of the couple’s driveway.

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