WHEN A COUPLE FROM A LEAFY
Chicago suburb who needed to be closer to their daughter and grandchildren in San Francisco found a worn fourth-floor flat in a 1924 Russian
Hill condominium building, they took it.
“It had bay views! For me it is all about the views,” says the husband.
Their 4,000-square-foot, four-bedroom neoclassical-style condominium, which they will use as a pied-à-terre, was divided into many
small rooms, and the window openings, albeit small, framed architectural
trophies in nearly every direction: Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, Coit Tower,
the Transamerica Pyramid, Grace Cathedral, Sutro Tower.
New to town, they relied on their real estate agent for introductions
to San Francisco architect Geddes Ulinskas and interior designer Rusty
Wadatz, who helped the wife, an art history major and design enthusist
herself, transform the space into a large L-shaped open-plan living and
dining room and an eat-in kitchen, alongside a family room, guest room,
home office and master suite.
The gutted apartment was rebuilt swiftly within six months as if it
always had long sight lines, with structural columns and service shafts hidden within new walls. Attractive whitewashed French oak floors, accented
with Stark rugs, unify the rooms.
The former 7.5-foot ceilings with peculiar vaulting are a distant memory.
Project architect Adele Salierno, who picked up where Ulinskas left off
with the overall floor plan, thought of modern coffers to complement
Ulinskas’ grooved painted lacquer paneling that echoes traditional French
boiserie but without raised molding.