Shannon went to the opening of the NowHouse in San Francisco yesterday morning. Being stuck with a deadline at work, I couldn’t attend, but we went back this morning. I brought my camera along.
The October morning weather provided a uniformly dreary light, so it’s very difficult to tell from the photos that the NowHouse is in fact extremely attractive. Naturally, the weather improved as soon as we left.
In addition, the camera refused to use fill-in flash for most indoor pictures, so many of the photos are somewhat disappointing. It’s also difficult to capture any sense of a large building with a little snappy digital camera, not a semi-pro behemoth.
The NowHouse is very impressive; the exterior combines what look like cement board panels with corrugated steel or aluminium, giving a nice variation in texture. In addition, the colours look wonderful, with a pale winter green on two walls, and a burnt umber on the other two, the metal being finished in a suitable gunmetal shade.
Inside, the house is airy and spacious, with plenty of light. The bamboo floors and fixtures are very appealing. Once again, the colours are vibrant and energetic, and the furniture is modernist without being alienating.
There were only two aspects of the NowHouse that put me off. The first was the floor plan, which is aimed squarely at a couple with no kids. Although very attractive due to the amount of open space, this is not very practical for the kinds of people who’d be likely to afford to build such a house. Secondly, the central electronic controls, and the stacks of A/V gear all around the place, struck me as a bit much. Then again, I spend so little time in front of a TV that I’m immune to the lure of 42“ plasma screens in every room and centrally distributed music.
Toby, the architect, and Joe, the project manager, were both at the house this morning. They were so deluged with questions from the visitors that I didn’t have a chance to do more than shake their hands; I expect there will be many more chances to talk to them.