For fans of midcentury design, owning an Eichler house is the holy grail. Built by developer Joseph Eichler, the homes have become icons of California modernism. But even architectural treasures can use an update. When a young family with two children found an Eichler house in San Francisco's Diamond Heights neighborhood, they knew it needed a refresh to bring out its full potential — and to get rid of dated carpeting, metallic wallpaper, and a cramped kitchen.
Bay-area firm Michael Hennessey Architecture was brought on for the overhaul, which included a new floor plan, sliding glass panels, and re-built decks. The house had undergone a hodgepodge of renovations over the years, so Hennessy focused on stripping the home back to the original structure. "We decided to strike a balance between the positive, inherent qualities of an Eichler structure with modern improvements that enhance rather than compete with the existing building," said Hennessy. The finished project feels open and modern, while still celebrating the original design. For Hennessy, this was the goal all along: "We struck a balance between new and old in a meaningful way."