OPA Designs Home Office in San Francisco With Stunning Views

The San Francisco home office combines productivity with domestic calm

An Elevated San Francisco Home Office by Studio OPA Offers Distant Views

Architects Luke Ogrydziak and Zoë Prillinger of studio OPA were asked to revisit a residential project they designed in 2005 – T House – for a home office addition in San Francisco atop the existing structure. Dubbed The Aerie, the new design not only crowns a relatively clean and understated building with a somewhat flamboyant extension, but also provides a next-generation home office for its owners, a couple with three children.

While the project’s impressive angular forms might be the first thing to catch the eye, it was the shaping of the internal lighting conditions that drove much of the design development. OPA worked with parametric systems and consultants Loisos & Ubbelohde to perfect every little detail and nook, inside and out. “We wanted to create a ‘floating’ effect above the house and downtown San Francisco. To achieve this, we decided to make the walls and ceiling disappear,” says Ogrydziak. ‘Wraparound glass provides panoramic views of the city and the Marin [County] beyond. Above, the roof consists entirely of skylights located above a multi-layered system of diffusers, which reduce glare and react to different lighting conditions. The result is exceptionally soft, even light that varies with atmospheric conditions and makes the room feel like the outdoors, while maintaining visual comfort.

Inside, a daybed is available for work breaks and moments of contemplation.

A combination of digital studies and scale models helped the team shape their ideas, testing different canopy and window strategies in various lighting conditions. The Ultimate Expression combines a skylight diffuser and operable shades; together they offer a variety of lighting options that can be tailored to suit a range of needs – and it all happens automatically, using an intelligent system that controls ambient light. Sverre Fehn’s Nordic pavilion in Venice served as inspiration. “We aim for a similar ethereal quality of highly diffused natural light,” says Ogrydziak.

The architects worked hard to ensure that users benefit from optimal working conditions inside, including two built-in but adaptable desks, hidden storage space, a digital stereo system (the sloped ceiling breaks up sound waves, reducing reverberation times), a shelf and even a daybed for breaks. The Aerie’s aluminum clad faceted convex shaped overhangs to the bay. It is bright and distinctive, like a sci-fi control room born from the needs of the 21st century, perfectly designed to provide a clear and healthy psychological separation between home and workspace. §