t-house 1-min

Photo: OPA

The geometric wunder-building known as the “T House” (or 526 Duncan) has sold in Noe Valley for $12.5 million — a new record for the neighborhood. But leading up to the sale, satisfying all parties involved in its construction proved to be a major challenge.

Towering on top of a hill at the edge of Noe Valley, it was designed by Ogrydziak/Prillinger Architects (OPA) with the intent of incorporating perpendicular lines that would please both the homeowner and the surrounding neighbors. The homeowner had originally received approval for a separate house on the property, known as the Double Bar House, but, according to OPA, scrapped it “in the interests of accommodating seemingly irreconcilable design directives.”

The homeowner wanted to maximize the square footage to create panoramic views, while neighbors demanded a “stealth structure” so that their views were not obscured. NIMBYs aside, the architects also had to consider the home’s unique topographic position at the base of a steep slope.

And so the perpendicular T-shape was born. With four bedrooms, four baths and two half baths, the home features two courtyards as well as open space in the back. For the T to be at its stealthiest, it was embedded deep into one side of the slope so that two thirds of it would be concealed, while the other is visible from the street.

The tri-level home, which can be more easily understood by checking out the rendering below, is wedged deep in the hillside. For some, this might pose a risk for claustrophobia, but an ingenious use of high ceilings and exterior walls leaves plenty of room for space-enhancing windows.

The home won the AIA East Bay, 2006 Architecture Merit Award after its completion in 2005, when it was originally sold for $5.3 million.

t-house 2-min

Image: OPA

t-house 3-min

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t-house 4-min

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t-house 5-min

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t-house 6-min

Photo: OPA

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