AIA San Francisco Announces Selected Projects for the 2023 AIASF Home Tours

July 29, 2023

Media Contact:
Matthew Donohue, AIASF Communications Manager

AIA San Francisco Announces Selected Projects for the 2023 AIASF Home Tours

(San Francisco, CA) AIA San Francisco (AIASF), in collaboration with the Center for Architecture + Design, is pleased to announce the 2023 AIASF Home Tours (formerly San Francisco Living: Home Tours), an annual open house event featuring five residences designed by leading Bay Area architects will take place on Saturday, September 23 from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. AIASF Home Tours tickets will be available for purchase on Friday, August 4.

"The AIASF Home Tours program provides a unique opportunity to engage and learn more about the impact of architecture and design in our everyday lives. We encourage curious minds to experience design and its evolving role in the future of the built environment," said Stacy Williams, AIASF Executive Director.

As the first tour series in the Bay Area to promote residential design, this highly-acclaimed event showcases five projects that promote innovative residential and represent a variety of architectural styles, neighborhoods, and residences, including single-family homes, multi-family complexes, and contemporary renovations. AIASF Home Tours takes place every year in September as part of the annual Architecture + the City Festival.

Tour participants view some of the latest residential projects from the inside out, examine new housing trends, and discover design solutions that inspire unique modern and sustainable living. This year’s Home Tours Headquarters will take place at the new Center for Architecture + Design located at 140 Sutter Street in San Francisco. Additionally, festival attendees will be able to attend the Architects’ Forum on Wednesday, September 20, featuring a panel discussion with the architects whose projects are featured in this year’s AIASF Home Tours.

Special thanks to the 2023 AIASF Home Tours Selection Team: Barbara Shands, Shands Studio; Lise de Vito, Zack | de Vito Architecture; Christina Cho Yoo, AIA, PE, LEED AP BD C, Atelier Cho Thompson & A Rising Tide; Vivian Dwyer, Dwyer Design.

Congratulations to the architects and their teams!

2023 Architecture + the City Festival Sponsors





Bernal Heights Residence | Mork-Ulnes Architects |

The project started as a re-design of an old, shingled Victorian house, but the scope changed drastically when a fire ravaged the home on Christmas 2017. The single-story house was previously overshadowed by its taller two-story gabled neighbors. As the fire forced a reevaluation of scope and scale, Mork-Ulnes evaluated the proportions and exterior massing of neighboring homes. For the exterior, the charred black painted silhouette was intended to take cues from its quintessential San Francisco neighbors. The proportions, scale, and massing are derived from its surroundings, but reinterpret Edwardian design cues into more abstract decorative elements like siding patterns and solid-void composition.

Photo credit: Bruce Damonte

Golden Gate Heights Residence | John Lum Architecture |

Perched atop Golden Gate Heights with views of the Marin Headlands, this mid-century residence didn't do justice to its spectacular setting. A compartmentalized floor plan, with deteriorated fixtures and finishes, made for a dated feel. It was time for a major reset. The house was reconceptualized, inside and out. The goal was to elevate its roots and create a space that would accommodate large gatherings while keeping an intimate, personal feel for everyday living. The client had a strong aesthetic and having grown up in Eastern Europe wanted a house that would work with his collection of proto-modernist furniture. The focus was on simplifying the house. The exterior form was stripped of its dilapidated painted cladding and replaced with natural cedar siding and cement plaster; durable materials meant to weather in place. A shou sugi ban screen provides a unifying base, hiding the garage doors with the only penetration being the distinctive orange glass front gate. Passing through that gate is otherworldly, transforming the outside world into a surreal experience that recalls the Light and Space Movement of 1970’s California. Guests are ushered to a staircase that leads to a Zendo-inspired garden and front door.

Photo Credit: Paul Dyer

Russian Hill Residence | Dumican Mosey Architects |

Located at the end of a narrow mid-block alley in the pedestrian-oriented and densely rich context of San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood, this project involved a reimagination and expansion of an existing two-unit home while merging the subject property with a small adjacent vacant lot bordering the shared mid-block open space. The design maintains the small existing building footprint, focusing on preserving the adjacent open space while expanding the living space by converting a storage area at the garden level and up through a single-story vertical addition. The bold, faceted, object-like red stair provides a glimpse into the nature of the house from the alley level and connects all 4 floors vertically. A quiet, modern façade becomes the reimagined face fronting the narrow alley and frames the pedestrian view to Coit Tower.

Photo Credit: Blake Marvin Photography

Mint Hill Residence | Red Dot Studio |

The home was built for another site and another time. Moved from Bernal Heights to Waller Street, adjacent apartments blocked light into the windows built for another place. On an early trip to the home the architect saw that the bathroom lightwell had the best light and became the stair location bringing sunshine through the core of the house. The team added a story and a housing unit to the property with a garden apartment and two-story home above. The client’s strong eclectic design and environmental sensibility inspired the integration of a fan, radiant heat, no AC, PV with battery backup throughout the entire house. The home is almost entirely electric, except for the hot water heater, as Heat Pump Water Heaters were not as prevalent or affordable at the time of the design and build phase of this house. Gas is routed to the water heater and the homeowner’s goal is to replace this with an electric water heater when the time for replacement comes.

Photo Credit: Leslie Williamson

Twin Peaks Residence | Michael Hennessey Architecture |

On a downslope lot in San Francisco, a restrained composition of steel frames, aluminum windows, and deep gray cement plaster makes up the facade of this three-unit residential building. On the lower level, a two-story unit makes the most of its connection to the outdoors, opening to a spare garden finished with fine gravel and concrete, onto which dappled light spills through the canopy of a new tree. A double-height volume holds the living room and kitchen, while the bedroom tucks into a mezzanine for a private, cozy retreat. Strategically placed vertical windows provide privacy for the building’s one-story middle unit, the space slowly decompressing to culminate in a high-ceilinged living room that leads onto a generous deck with sweeping views of San Francisco. The distance from the street on the building’s highest level allowed the architects to give the owners’ suite, located on the top unit’s second floor, an entirely glazed front facade, producing a space with visual connections to its surroundings in both the front and the back.

Photo credit: Adam Rouse Photography

About AIA San Francisco | 

Serving the Bay Area for over a century, the American Institute of Architects, San Francisco (AIASF) is committed to enhancing the quality of life in the Bay Area by promoting excellence in architecture, design, and the built environment. AIASF represents members practicing architecture, as well as allied community professionals in San Francisco and Marin counties. As a resource for our members and the public, AIA San Francisco strives to improve the quality of life in the Bay Area through community involvement, education, advocacy, public outreach, and member services.

About the Center for Architecture + Design |

The Center for Architecture + Design is a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to creating a public-focused dialogue on architecture, design, and the built environment in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded by the American Institute of Architects, San Francisco (AIASF) in 2005, the Center enhances public appreciation for architecture and design through virtual and in-person exhibitions, lectures, tours, film series, and other programs.

About the Architecture + the City Festival |

Presented by the Center for Architecture + Design in collaboration with AIA San Francisco, the Annual Architecture + the City Festival takes place every year in September featuring behind-the-scenes programs, tours, lectures, film presentations, and more. These month-long programs provide an excellent opportunity for all communities to experience architecture and design in a myriad of ways throughout the city. Since 2003, we have worked to enrich these core events and have collaborated with countless design and community partners, firms, and organizations to further creative ideas and advance the conversation surrounding our local built environment, to celebrate accomplishments, and together work towards building a more sustainable future.