Washington Street Residence

We were asked to turn an upper-floor bedroom with a turret into a children’s play space. Imbued with partner Jessica Weigley’s extensive background in education and inspired by the Waldorf principles, the design employs organic materials, green technologies (a wind turbine and solar-powered irrigation of multiple container gardens on its terrace), and inventive elements to provide children with room to learn, dream and create.

Overlooking the space is a stage backed by a large chalkboard. Inside the interior of the turret, we placed an activities table for rainy day crafts or drawing and a series of soft pads to allow safe movement within the space. An inset inside a curved wall creates a showcase or gallery for art created in other areas of the room.

Perhaps our favorite aspect of the space is the 36-square-foot “secret room” that is revealed by pivoting a bookshelf. We divided the space into two opposing, 3-foot-wide curved plywood ramps and then covered them in soft, stain-resistant, hand-tufted, organic wool. These create niches for reading, talking, napping or daydreaming.

Year: 2010
Location: Pacific Heights, San Francisco, CA
Square Footage: 500
Typology: Single Family Residence