Of all the pads chosen for this year’s AIA San Francisco Living: Home Tours, only one found me smiling from start to finish. I wondered why as I wandered through this intriguing Glen Park residence… suddenly, on an upstairs landing, I spied a strange note stuck inside a fire-engine red Royal typewriter. I crept closer, just to get a peek. Staring back at me, three words, all caps: NOTHING BUT EVIDENCE. The owners’ motives began to emerge, as clear as the double-height glass wall behind me. Strachan and Melissa Forgan, it seems, had volumes to gain — more space, more light, even sheer satisfaction and enjoyment — simply by digging in, building up and letting Architecture and the City take its course.
This capable couple bought the small property in 2004. Three variances and several years later, they completed construction and moved in. Their infill development of a small, steeply sloped orphan lot capitalized on existing urban infrastructure in an established community, and produced a “jewel of a house” and a valuable Gold Nugget to boot (for “a balance of innovation in sustainable practices and architecture of transparency” — 2008 Best Custom Home under 5,000 sq.ft). Other awards and attentions soon followed.
The architect behind this master plan turns out to be none other than the owner himself. Mr. Forgan, a LEED-certified senior associate at Sasaki, explored a gold rating as well as a third bedroom for his four-story, two-bedroom creation, and passed up both. “The planning of the house was a real jigsaw puzzle,” he affirms, “though hopefully the result seems really obvious.” And then some — even the building contractor’s homepage celebrates Forgan’s stairway to heaven.
as seen on Inhabitat