GALLERY HOUSE is an infill project whose solidity dissolves at the façade. There, it meets South Park, one of the few figural public spaces in San Francisco. Formally emulating the organic morphology of the nearby tree canopy, the regular geometry within the building transforms at the facade screen to open and share the private interior.
The primary role of the architecture was to create a space for exchange between public and private zones. Combining a semi-public art gallery and a residence for two prominent collectors, the project developed an emerging domestic typology, the ‘gallery house’. The clients, a virologist and a mathematician, exclusively collect work by female contemporary artists and wanted a space where they could share and promote their collection, not only with friends and neighbors, but also with the larger art world. They requested a home within which both their extensive collection and visitors could circulate from a semi-public gallery through to the domestic space, each zone offering a different environment for experiencing the work. The street-level gallery hosts exhibitions curated from their private collection as well as the collections of friends. A site for artist and curator talks, the gallery increases public engagement in the arts within the art world as well as at the scale of their own neighborhood. The exhibition space is redefined as it continues up the stairs to the next two floors and the penthouse sculpture garden. By virtue of its open plan, the domestic zone includes even the most private spaces in the exhibition circuit.