Summerhill House Location: Kenwood, California Architect: Edmonds + Lee Architects

Edmonds + Lee Architects Selected Project #2

History and Culture of Edmonds + Lee Architects

Edmonds + Lee Architects is a full-service design, development, and architecture firm based in San Francisco’s Mission District. Partners Robert Edmonds and Vivian Lee—who met at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning—integrate a profoundly philosophical approach with a deep well of on-the-ground building experience to produce work that explores light, space, plane, material, and the endless possibilities of form.

Their work is ethereal and material, equally grounded in real-world concerns like budget and local rental markets as in conceptual concerns like duality, the power of a flush of recognition, and intimacy. The ability to work simultaneously on projects ranging from the ultra-intimate scale of a bedroom closet to the necessarily universal appeal of a large-scale multi-family building has produced a design approach equally tethered to precision and abstraction.

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Edmonds + Lee Architects are as versed in ideas as they are in the vagaries of sunlight, as confident picking the perfect floorboards as they are in discussing the historical implications of the ideal stair detail, as comfortable with the expansive scale of the urban fabric as they are with the bottomless uniqueness of each client. They have explored the limitations of the urban grid and the possibilities of rural expansiveness, all with the same intense focus on client collaboration, material sensitivity, and spatial thoughtfulness. Every project explores the relationship between continuity and interruption, between seamlessness and breaks.

Every building is its own adventure, one that emerges with a story formed in deep collaboration with clients, contractors, interior designers, and landscape architects. Edmonds + Lee is deeply embedded in and familiar with the complex worlds of real estate, art, development, codes, and practice.

For the last ten years, Edmonds + Lee Architects has provided groundbreaking and consistent work for a number of clients; the partners have been formally recognized by the Monterey Design Conference; New Practices San Francisco; Architizer; and Arkitektura Assembly.

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Edmonds + Lee Architects Selected Projects

Summerhill Residence

Kenwood, CA

Situated deep in the heart of California wine country, the Summerhill Residence is a grouping of three separate structures—main house, guest house, detached garage—which are oriented towards each other and also towards an emphasis on the flow between inside and outside, sunlight and shade. Void space between the buildings allows for defined outdoor courtyards, while circulation among the buildings remains ad hoc, informal, spontaneous. Improvisation is woven into the carefully-articulated details, like the horizontal wood cladding the covers each structure, the cut-outs for windows mirroring the projects’ spatial relationships. Textures and colors like green and concrete and gray and beige rock and white play off of each other like blocks of meaning, each drawing the eye in and up.

Photos by Edmonds + Lee Architects

Night and Day House

San Francisco, CA

This renovation of an old craftsman home challenged the architects to weave together the old and the new, to bring out the threads of architectural tradition while maintaining the architectural clarity of the modern addition. Two vertical elements — a stair that connects all three floors of the project, and a wall extending down from the cantilevered addition of the owners’ suite — ground the project, literally and figuratively, deeply in its site. The wall acts as a hefty, solid column, anchoring with its mass, while the stair’s open treads render it a lightwell for the house’s lower levels, helping the most ephemeral part of the site, its light, seep into every space.

The stair was conceptualized as a hinge, both marking the joints between floors and bringing together the traditional craftsman architecture on the street side of the house and the sleek, modern spaces in the back. An honesty of materials undergirds the new design, whose sleek, white interiors are punctuated with swaths of warm oak and Carrara marble. In the kitchen, a large central island of thick, weighty timber recalls the craftsman tradition that runs through the home’s veins.

Photos by Edmonds + Lee Architects

Market Street Residences

San Francisco, CA

For a triangular, flatiron-shaped parcel within the Upper Market Street district of San Francisco, Edmonds + Lee designed a six-story mixed-use building featuring residential units situated over an active ground-floor retail space. The architecture reflects and brings to life the surrounding neighborhood through a keen emphasis on strong corner expression, vertically-oriented fenestration, and tripartite elevations. Geometry and light work together, producing a building that is both unique and contextual, richly imaginative and deeply site-specific.

Photos by Edmonds + Lee Architects

Do not forget that we will be posting more work by Edmonds + Lee Architects in the coming weeks and months, so keep an eye out for more of their incredible work!! Every Friday we will be posting a new Featured Company, so join us again next week!

Edmonds Lee Architects

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