THE INSIDE OUT: Apartment-Studio-Gallery-Office-Greenhouse Wrapped into One

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Name: Philip and Tania
Location: Former Salvation Army Building in the Mission, San Francisco, California
Favorite: the courtyard and light therein (Tania), and the 14' x 14' topographical wall of San Francisco-- "an alternative and peripheral view of the city"--that will divide the office space from the gallery (Philip)

Tania, a public radio producer and Philip, a designer live together in a 1500 square foot loft in a formerly industrial building in San Francisco. Unlike Philip, this is not the ideal space for Tania who, as a native San Franciscan is more amenable to the classically organic and light drenched Victorian version of living in San Francisco. When they first saw this space she said, “I’ll suffocate without windows”. They both recently settled in San Francisco, Philip from Dorset, England, where he lived in a former Malt Factory in a similar but larger and rawer space; and Tania from a long hiatus in New York City.

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Tania’s mantra for homemaking is, “You bring your own energy into a place”. In addition, she says she was amenable to this new style of living because “I’m in love with Philip”. So, in they moved.

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Philip, who is 6’4” and appreciates a lot of open space in his home has a more modern and streamlined aesthetic than this converted loft space currently offers. So, even though they are renting the space, he has grand plans for major conversions. Philip's vision and intent is to create a space that serves office, gallery, and residential purposes with equal parts great design, efficiency, and flexibility. He feels the investment is worth it because the results will make for better living and the example will serve him well in promoting his interior design business. He has already drafted a digital simulation allowing the viewer to fly through his and Tania’s future multifaceted space. The most ambitious addition would include a cantilevered transparent cube extending from the guest mezzanine.

Because they have such a big space, they have decided to use it to their community’s benefit as well as their own. Tania and Philip hold monthly sound art sessions where bean-bags are strewn around the room, the lights go low, and the audience leans back and listens. They also set aside wall space to hang rotating installations of independent visual artist’s work for which they hold openings and viewings by appointment.

The combination of a strong design-oriented, hard edged aesthetic with an organic love of life yield a surprisingly thought provoking, warm, aesthetically pleasing environment.

JS

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.

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