Janus House
Friday 17 Jan 2014


The Janus House by Owen Kennerly of Kennerly Architecture & Planning is a house with two faces. Kennerly maintained the historic historic pre-earthquake front portion of the house facing the street. Sequentially, he gave the house a modern profile when he extended it southwards on the alley side. In this way, he weaves the past and present together with skill thanks to an understanding of San Fransico's built form and traditions while still being able to execute buildings that are wholly contemporary.

The faces are distinct - a restored Victorian facade addresses the more formal northern frontage, and a modern one opens to the south across the other - an ad hoc row of homes, cottages and small apartment buildings. The old facade is an elegant mask fronting three original rooms of handsome proportion. The modern face is an open gable framing two levels of family rooms with operable glass walls and a syncopated screen of white recyclable plastic.

Inside, old and new blend together in an open suite of rooms. Upstairs, the existing attic was mined for unused space to create quirky gabled bedrooms each with its own character. Each of the clients' children wanted a secret play space so Kennerly provided that under the apex of the roof on the top floor. It is important to listen to your youngest clients! 

Kennerly Architecture & Planning