I Left My Heart... Terry&Terry's Modern Green Box

I Left My Heart... Terry&Terry's Modern Green Box

Sarah Firshein
Jun 21, 2010

Ah, the sloping hills of sunny San Fran—home to Ghirardelli, seals, the Full House townhouse. We ventured to the city by the bay to check out the work of Berkeley-based Terry&Terry Architecture, who recently won an American Institute of Architects (AIA) award for Custom Housing. What caught our eye was a different project entirely—a Modernist box tucked onto a residential street in the Noe Valley nabe.

Faced with the problem of a cluttered house built in 1963, brothers Alex and Ivan Terry decided to keep the exterior shell intact and gut the interiors, implementing a number of changes to the layout and flow. The public spaces were shifted to the north end of the house; a balcony and terrace were installed in the backyard; and an outdoor entry stair was enlarged.

Considerable sustainable elements place this project ahead of the curve, too. Ipe siding, set 3/16 of an inch from the structural wall, functions as an internal heating/cooling system and offers natural ventilation; hot air dissipates through the gap between the wood and the home before heating the home directly. The Terrys angled the roof to allow for the eventual installation of solar panels; additionally, a drain running from the roof to the basement will allow the owners to collect rainwater for garden irrigation. Topping off the list is a high-efficiency water heater and furnace.

With green features this responsible—not to mention interiors this calming—surely this is just the spot to sit back and soak in that California sun we Northeasterners hear so much about.

(Images: Terry&Terry Architecture)

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